Fire Fighting in Canada

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Witnesses testify at coroner’s inquest

Nov. 27, 2014, Riviere-du-Loup, Que. - Witnesses to the seniors' home fire that killed 32 people in Quebec last January have described a night of horror.

November 27, 2014
By The Canadian Press

They told a coroner’s inquest into the tragedy yesterday of residents begging to be saved as flames engulfed them.

Conrad Morin was living on the top floor of the Residence du Havre in L’Isle-Verte when the blaze began just after midnight last January 23rd.

The 89-year-old said his first instinct was to save his wife, Eva, who lived on a lower floor because she had limited movement.

But as he rushed into the corridor, he was forced back because of thick smoke, while his wife would die in the tragedy.

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The former firefighter was able to get out through a door two floors above the ground after ripping off plastic weatherstripping.

He fell to the ice below and suffered seven fractures.

The inquest also saw a video of the fire that was filmed by Nathalie Paquin Tanguay, who was travelling in the area with her family at the time.