4 rescued from fire near Gatineau pediatric centre
No one was injured, though Gatineau children's clinic heavily damaged
Firefighters rescued four people who were trapped on the roof of a burning building after a fire broke out on rue Notre Dame early Saturday morning, Gatineau police say.
No one was injured, though it took 46 firefighters several hours to contain the fire, which began shortly after 4 a.m.
According to photos taken at the scene, the fire broke out near the Gatineau Social Pediatric Centre, which offers health services for vulnerable children and their families, and a neighbouring business called Café Renaissance.
Both businesses are located on rue Notre Dame near Lac Beauchamp.
Pediatric clinic damaged
The fire happened in the early morning on the same day as the clinic's annual Christmas party, which had to be cancelled, said clinical director Dr. Anne-Marie Bureau.
Much of the second floor has been heavily damaged by smoke and water, she said, leaving the clinic scrambling to find another location to offer services like vaccination and counselling.
"We think that we won't be able to hold our clinics in that building next week or in the weeks to come," Bureau said. "Some of the ceiling on the second floor has been ripped off."
She said investigators are still unsure if there is structural damage in the dividing wall between the clinic and the neighbouring unit.
Despite the loss, Bureau said there's been an outpouring of support, including from other community clinics that have offered to help find temporary operating space while the damage is repaired.
"The phone has been ringing all day with offers, with people from the community," she said. "For me, it's a sign that Gatineau is a community that holds their children close to their heart."
"That's sort of comforting for us today."
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.