Gatineau firefighters head to Lac-Mégantic recovery

A team of five firefighters from Gatineau, Que., are on their way to Lac-Mégantic, Que., to help with the recovery effort in extreme heat and facing dangerous soil conditions.
Firefighters from Gatineau are using their time off to help their colleagues in Lac-Megantic. 2:01
These five members of the fire department in Gatineau, Que., are off to Lac-Mégantic to help the clean-up. (Ryan Gibson/CBC)

A team from the fire department in Gatineau, Que., are heading to Lac-Mégantic, Que., this morning to assist in the recovery efforts after the devastating train explosion.

There are now 35 confirmed deaths after the small community in Quebec's Eastern Townships was rocked July 6 by a train derailment and explosion that took out most of the town's centre. The train was carrying more than 70 cars of crude oil.

There are 15 other people missing, who are presumed dead.

Firefighters from more than 60 forces across Canada and the U.S. are assisting in searching the red zone, facing extreme heat and dangerous fumes from contaminated soil.

5 firefighters to live in tents for 3 days

Gatineau is sending five members of its fire department, including three firefighters, a barracks officer and division chief Gilles Vekeman.

The group is expected to stay for three days. They will fit all of their supplies into the red van they are driving to the site, and live in tents while they are there.

The team will focus on security during fire tank pumping operations and they will ensure support for the local fire department.

They leave just one day after three firefighters were slightly injured and treated at the crash site.

The City of Gatineau will also donate money to the community of Lac-Mégantic, estimated to be between $50,000 and $75,000. Included in the donation will be books, after the train explosion destroyed the Lac-Mégantic library.