Quebec City family wants compensation after jumping to escape fire

A lawyer representing three people who jumped out of a burning building says they hold the city responsible for the physical and psychological damages they suffered.

Three people jumped from fourth floor of building to escape fire after ladder failed

A 10-year-old boy is dropped four floors to safety by his mother's partner as flames consume their apartment in Quebec City. Video by Richard Busque. 0:42

A lawyer representing three people in Quebec City who jumped out of a burning building says they hold the city responsible for the physical and psychological damages they suffered.

On the morning of Jan. 6, Nathalie Chicoine, her 10-year-old son Jason and her partner escaped their fourth-floor apartment by dropping from a window. The ladder didn't work that morning. 

Jason Chicoine, 10, was the first to jump for his family's fourth-storey apartment after a fire broke out inside. (Radio-Canada)

Guy Bertrand, the lawyer representing the three, says firefighters didn't act quickly enough during the incident. He also claims they didn't have a backup plan in effect once the ladder failed. 

The Quebec City fire department spokesman told CBC News that firefighters were within seconds of reaching the family from inside the building. The department is also investigating why the ladder failed. 

Mother still in hospital

Chicoine was seriously injured in the escape. 

Her brother Guy Chicoine visits her regularly in hospital. 

"The prognosis is good. She won't be able to walk for several months and her rehabilitation will begin soon," he said. But he added that she is suffering psychologically from what happened. 

Her partner suffered a back injury.

Jason had only minor injuries, but he is being closely followed by a school psychologist.

A spokesman for Quebec City's fire service said they are looking into why one truck could not deploy its ladder. (Alexandra Duval / Radio-Canada)

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