The Quebec government is re-evaluating its building and fire security codes for seniors’ homes, following the massive fire at L’Isle-Verte that has left 32 people dead or missing.
A committee from the province’s Public Safety Ministry, made up of health, building, fire and social security officials, will make a series of recommendations to improve standards at facilities like the Résidence du Havre, said Health Minister Réjean Hébert, who oversees the seniors file.
Authorities now say 14 people are now confirmed dead and that another 18 are missing. Provincial police gave the update at a news conference late this afternoon.
The last numbers given out by authorities on Sunday were 10 dead and 22 missing.
The deadly blaze has raised troubling questions about the rules that govern multi-storey seniors’ residences. It is believed that many of those who died in the fire were living in an older wing of the building, which was completely destroyed by the fire. A firewall between the two sections of the building kept the blaze from spreading to the newer wing, where the vast majority are believed to have survived.
The newer portion of the building, which was constructed in 2002, was outfitted with a sprinkler system, emergency exit and a firewall.
Mr. Hébert said buildings like this are a common quandary across the country.
“We’re living with buildings that were built 15, 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago and we need to implement fire security regulations.”
With a file from CP