Fire Fighting in Canada

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L’Isle-Verte fire started in kitchen: experts

Dec. 19, 2014, Riviere-du-Loup, Que. - Quebec provincial police fire experts have determined the January fire at a seniors' home that killed 32 people started in the kitchen.

December 19, 2014
By The Canadian Press

But the coroner’s inquest into the tragedy at the Residence du Havre in L’Isle-Verte has heard that the exact cause may never be found.

Fire expert Carol de Champlain testified on the last day of the inquest that the destruction prevented his team from determining what sparked the fire.

The coroner also heard from Bruno Belanger, the only employee working the night of the blaze, who claims he saw flames in a second-floor room and not in the kitchen.

That was contradicted by the evidence.


Belanger admitted that he woke up one of the home’s co-owners instead of trying to get the elderly residents outside, saying he was following protocol.

But a lawyer for the municipality says Belanger panicked because he didn’t know what to do.

The last evidence was a map indicating that many of the victims’ bodies were found outside the building, likely because they died on their balconies.

The coroner has asked for people to hold judgment until he finished his report, although he did not say when it would be completed.