Montreal

Montreal apartment in fatal fire lacked smoke detector

A deadly apartment building fire that killed two people in Pointe-Claire Saturday could have been avoided had there been smoke detectors on the premises, according to the Montreal Fire Department.
Firefighters enter the charred building where two people were killed in a fire early Saturday morning. (Radio-Canada)

A deadly apartment building fire that killed two people in Pointe-Claire, Que., Saturday could have been avoided had there been smoke detectors on the premises, according to the Montreal Fire Department.

Neighbours say the victims are a mother and teenage boy, who perished in an apartment at 504 St-Jean Boulevard, the building that went up in flames Saturday morning.

The fire is believed to have started in the victims' third-floor apartment and spread across the roof, which collapsed.

The apartment didn't have a smoke detector, a "small little item with one battery, that can save a life easily," said André Paquette, a fire department spokesman.

"It's unfortunate that we have to learn a lesson on behalf of a death," he said.

About 100 people are homeless after the fire.

Barula Rodrigues was one of the residents who fled the fire, along with her husband, who uses a wheelchair.

"When we came out, I saw the flames sky high, it was terrible. We were choking, we went to the bus cubicle there, we could not take it."

Rodrigues and other residents affected by the fire received food and hotel vouchers from the Red Cross.

Some people have been able to return to their apartments, but for many, it will be weeks before the intact portion of the building is cleared.