Quebec City family jumps from burning apartment building

Two adults and a 10-year-old boy jumped from their fourth-floor apartment to escape a fire early this morning in Quebec City after other residents' attempts to save them were unsuccessful — and their dramatic escape was captured on video.

2 adults, 10-year-old boy taken to hospital after jumping from 4th-floor unit

RAW: Man helps boy escape burning apartment

7 years ago
Duration 0:42
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.

A 10-year-old boy who jumped out of a fourth-floor apartment in Quebec City early this morning to escape a fire says everyone in his family got out alive thanks to his mother's partner.

"For my stepfather, only my mother mattered. He didn't care about getting himself out. It was my mother who mattered," Jason Chicoine told Radio-Canada in a French interview hours after he was discharged from hospital.

"Before I jumped, I could see the [Christmas] tree on fire … The fire reached all the way out to the balcony. My mother's clothesline was on fire, my toys — everything."

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

Chicoine's mother and her partner, who also jumped from the fourth-storey after Chicoine did, remain in hospital with serious injuries.

When the fire broke out, neighbours tried to save the family.

"We tried to get in, but we weren't able to," said neighbour Jules Harvey-Lacroix.

The fire in the borough of Charlesbourg broke out around 4:55 a.m. ET. Firefighters took over the rescue effort when they arrived at the scene after the 

A neighbour who lives across the street from the building told CBC News that he heard the boy saying he was afraid to jump. 

Dramatic video

A dramatic amateur video of the incident shot by neighbour Richard Busque showed the boy being held from the window and dropped to safety by his mother's partner.

Black smoke can be seen pouring from the window and flames shoot through a balcony door a few metres away.

The boy is followed by his mother. The man jumps last.

Two adults and a child had to avoid a covered walkway when they jumped.

Someone on the ground caught the boy, and the mother and her partner jumped into the snow below. 

The boy and the man were hurt, but the fire department said their injuries weren't critical. The boy was treated for a small burn before his release.

The mother's brother, Alexis Collin, told CBC News that his sister was in an induced coma.

Ladder malfunction

Both Busque, who shot the video, and Collin told CBC News the family had to jump because a fire department truck malfunctioned and could not deploy its ladder.

However, fire department spokesman Capt. Jean-François Daigle said it's too soon to tell if that's actually what happened. 

A spokesman for Quebec City's fire service said it is looking into why one truck could not deploy its ladder at the fire scene Wednesday morning. (Alexandra Duval / Radio-Canada)

"There was trouble on one truck, and it will be assessed by an expert to determine what went wrong. If it happened before or after [the residents jumped] will become clear as things progress."

Forty firefighters helped get the fire under control by 6:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.

RAW: Fire at Quebec City apartment complex

7 years ago
Duration 0:27
Three residents of a Quebec City apartment complex had to jump from their fourth-floor unit when a fire broke out early Wednesday morning.


  • An earlier version of this story referred to the man who dropped the boy to safety as his father. He is in fact the mother's partner.
    Jan 06, 2016 11:35 AM ET


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