Fire destroys CEGEP student residence building in Gaspé
280 students evacuated from building in early morning fire, all exams cancelled on CEGEP's Gaspé campus
A fire in a student residence building at the CEGEP de la Gaspésie et des Îles's Gaspé campus was still burning Wednesday afternoon, hours after it began — forcing the evacuation of 280 students and shutting down the entire campus.
Firefighters were called to the C.A. Pouliot building at 6:30 a.m. The building is physically attached to the school itself.
"The fire is not finished, so we don't know the cause," said a spokesperson for provincial police, Sgt. Claude Doiron.
"The building will probably be a total loss."
Doiron said the evacuation went smoothly, with no students injured and no indication anyone was left inside, although police can not be sure until firefighters are able to go through the building.
One firefighter has been treated for smoke inhalation.
Scheduled exams cancelled
"At first we went in front of the residences," said student Steven Lavoie about the early morning evacuation.
"When they saw that there was too much smoke, they sent us to the front of the CEGEP, then made us go inside to the cafeteria, where they did a head count."
Students were also sent to the campus intercultural centre where those who were barely dressed could grab donated clothes.
The CEGEP has shut down the campus for the day, cancelling scheduled exams, and administrators have created a crisis management team to deal with the students' needs, said communications officer Marie-Christine Fortin.
With files from Radio-Canada