Fatal Drummondville fire made worse by lack of smoke detectors, says coroner

A Quebec coroner says a faulty fire alarm system and lack of smoke detectors were partially to blame for the death of three Drummondville men in 2015.

Three men died in the July 2015 blaze

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

A Quebec coroner says a faulty fire alarm system and lack of smoke detectors contributed to the death of three Drummondville men in an apartment building in 2015.

Coroner Yvon Garneau's report confirmed that Stéphane Vincent, Marcel Roy and Pierre Garceau all died of asphyxiation during the building fire on July 23, 2015.

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

Residents thought fire was false alarm

Garneau's report confirms firefighters' initial theory that the flames started as a grease fire.

In his report, he said the building's fire system had gone off in instances were there was no fire, leaving residents believing it the fire was a false alarm.

He also said some apartment units didn't have smoke detectors, or if they did, the batteries in them weren't working.

"Today, in 2016, it's very hard to understand, but we need to work on that," said Garneau.

With files from Jean-François Dumas