Montreal

Drummondville, Que., fire: 2 of 3 victims identified

The identities of two of the three people killed in an apartment-building fire in Drummondville, Que., have been made public.

Fatal fire broke out around midnight in 3-storey apartment building on Des Merisiers Avenue

The 36-unit building burned like "a house of cards" overnight from Wednesday to Thursday. (Rebecca Ugolini/CBC)

The identities of two of the three people killed in an apartment-building fire in Drummondville, Que., have been made public.

Marcel Roy, 66, and 46-year-old Stéphane Vincent, both residents of the building, died in Thursday's fire.

One woman who lives in the building, Nicole Allard, said she knew both the victims. Although police have not yet confirmed the identity of the third victim, Allard said she thinks she knows who it may be.

RAW: Drummondville resident Nicole Allard is shocked to learn who died in her building

7 years ago
Duration 0:32
Nicole Allard knew the two victims identified by police, and thinks the third unidentified victim is likely her boyfriend.
"It's atrocious. The two victims were my neighbour who lived right next door to me — Mr. Roy. I spoke to him a lot. I loved that man very much. It's so sad," Allard said while crying. "And the other person who died, Stéphane, was also someone I knew. He was a friend. But I think the third victim is my boyfriend."

On Thursday, Allard found her companion's car parked outside the building, but she said there was no sign of him – and she feared the worst.

Eight others were injured in the overnight fire, which tore through a 36-unit apartment building on Des Merisiers Avenue, about 100 kilometres northeast of Montreal. The building is a total loss, leaving all of its residents homeless.

The building did not have doors in the door frames next to the stairs, allowing the fire and smoke to spread quickly. 

Residents said the building was equipped with fire alarms, but it is not yet known whether there were sprinklers.

RAW: Drummondville fire rips through apartment building

7 years ago
Duration 1:10
A Drummondville, Que., apartment fire has left one dead and several more missing. Credit: Mathieu Bibeau.

Burned 'like a house of cards'

Isabelle Sawyer, one of the residents of the Drummondville, Que., building in the deadly fire overnight, says it burned like a 'house of cards.' (Rebecca Ugolini/CBC)
Isabelle Sawyer, a resident of the building, said she managed to get out after her neighbour banged on her door and warned her about the fire.

"It burned like a house of cards," Sawyer said.

"I heard people screaming on the balconies. It was apocalyptic."

Sawyer said many of the units in the building are one-bedroom, occupied by single people, many with no insurance and on social assistance.

Investigators are studying a number of hypotheses, including the possibility that the flames originated with a cooking fire.​

The City of Drummondville is taking donations for the victims, while Ressourcerie Transition and Vestiaire La Penderie are taking donations of furniture and clothing, respectively.

The Red Cross, which has provided temporary housing and food to the victims, is also accepting donations to its general fund.

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