Fire Fighting in Canada

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Coroner hears testimony during inquest into fire

Nov. 24, 2014, Riviere-du-Loup, Que. - The coroner's inquest into the fire that killed 32 people at a seniors' residence in Quebec last January has heard dramatic 911 calls from the night of the deadly blaze.

One call played today is from a man on the second floor who is repeatedly told to put an article of wet clothing at his door to prevent the smoke from getting in.

The man is then heard wheezing for several seconds before the line goes dead.

In an earlier call, co-owner Irene Plante tells the 911 dispatcher there is smoke everywhere and that the doors to the building are locked from the inside.

Coroner Cyrille Delage began the inquest last week and will hear more testimony on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Many of the occupants in the 52-unit building were over 85 and all but a handful had limited mobility, being confined to wheelchairs and walkers.

November 24, 2014
By The Canadian Press