Fire has become another visitor in the Canadian province of Quebec. First was last year at Lac-Megantic when flames burst out from a train derailment.
Now, last night, it hit the quaint town of L’Isle-Verte,Quebec ( L’Isle-Verte is French for Green Island) in a 4-story seniors home which opened in 1997.Apparently, the home from initial reports had stated, that water sprinklers weren’t fully installed there due to a regulation that the building wasn’t more than 4 stories high. The home was built mainly of wood which I personally feel wasn’t a good insulator for Canadian winters.
Ongoing search,rescue and investigations are still continued amidst difficulties in going through the debris,smoke and ice. The stark reality is that as of the present moment, 5 people had died, 30 are missing and 20 are injured from the fire.
Considering that the residents are seniors,majority of whom have disability problems and Alzheimer’s dementia, it’s heartwrenching to think of how they were able to escape if they were ever lucky,from such a frightening inferno. I could just imagine how their loved ones and friends are feeling right now when they thought that having these folks in such a home would keep them safe when in fact, it ended this way.
The ongoing debate of strict fire safety regulations and fault-finding will definitely ensue but these will not bring back the dead nor completely heal those traumatized from the fire.
This is a preventable situation but alas, we all learn from hindsight. I just hope that this unfortunate situation will be rectified for everyone’s sake irregardless of whose heads will roll in the process.
My thoughts and prayers are with the injured,deceased and their respective loved ones/friends. In a town with a population of 1400 where everybody knows everybody,the emotional pain is unfathomable.