Fire Fighting in Canada

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Inquest begins into seniors’ home fire

Nov. 17, 2014, Riviere-du-Loup, Que. - A coroner's inquest has begun into the fire that killed 32 people at a seniors' residence in eastern Quebec last January.

Coroner Cyrille Delage is expected to hear more than 50 witnesses in testimony this week and next.

His job will be to determine the cause of death of each of the 32 victims and the origin and likely causes of the fire.

The tragedy occurred at the Residence du Havre in L'Isle-Verte but the inquest is taking place in Riviere-du-Loup, northeast of Quebec City.

The co-owners of the residence are part of a $3.8-million civil lawsuit against the town of L'Isle-Verte. The suit alleges the community failed to implement emergency plans which might have lowered the death toll.

An insurance company is also involved in the lawsuit and is seeking $2.3 million of the $3.8 million.

Investigations into the tragedy are already being carried out by provincial police and the fire commissioner.