Vehicle fire injures five, including three children in Buckingham – OttawaMatters.com

Vehicle fire injures five, including three children in Buckingham - OttawaMatters.com
Gatineau fire injures 5, including 3 children
A three-month-old baby has died and four other people, including a 20-month-old child, are injured following a fire early Saturday at a residence at 180 Paluck St. in Gatineau’s Buckingham district.

A Gatineau police spokeswoman had said Saturday that the youngest baby’s condition was considered life-threatening. The child was taken to CHEO for treatment.

GATINEAU FIRE: Three-month-old baby in critical condition, four others injured

The father, 31, was transported to a Montreal hospital in critical condition suffering from burn-related injuries and smoke inhalation, police said.

The two others injured in the fire, a 28-year-old woman and a 12-year-old, were taken to hospital but later released, having suffered minor injuries.

Firefighters were called for a fire in an automobile beside the structure shortly before 2 a.m. Upon arrival, the flames had spread to the two-storey, two-apartment building.

Flames blocked the front entrance, but firefighters rescued three people from the blaze. Four other people in the home managed to get out.

Gatineau police said detectives and forensic experts were at the scene Saturday and that the fire scene would remain cordoned off until the investigation was complete.

Spokesperson Andrée East said police were asked to investigate because the firefighters “could not find the cause … we are looking at all possibilities.”

East, in an email Saturday night, said it was still too soon to say “if it is criminal or not”, adding that all hypotheses were still on the table.

A three-month-old baby boy has died following an early morning fire in Gatineau, Que., that also injured four others.

Gatineau firefighters responded to a vehicle fire just before 2 a.m. Saturday on Rue Paluck in the Buckingham area.

Gatineau police said that although the flames blocked the building's front door, firefighters were able to bring the five residents outside.

All five were taken to various hospitals. The baby was transported to CHEO in Ottawa and was initially reported to be in critical condition, but shortly after 8:30 p.m., Gatineau police said he had succumbed to his injuries.

A man in his 30s was taken to a Montreal hospital with serious injuries, police said. A 20-month old child also suffered serious injuries, but police said the child's life is not in danger.

Two others, a woman in her 30s and a 12-year-old child, were treated for burns. Police said their injuries were minor and both had been released from hospital by Saturday evening.

"This is not understandable. It's a nightmare, that's all I can say," said Lucie Labbé, the baby's grandmother, in a French-language interview with Radio-Canada Saturday afternoon before bursting into tears.

Gisele Belair lives in the ground floor apartment, underneath where the family lived, and said she and her husband were asleep when they suddenly heard yelling.

Her husband went to investigate and saw their neighbours' pickup truck on fire in the driveway. Belair said they were able to escape, but had to leave their three cats behind.

Serge Gauthier, who lives a block away, said he woke up to a large "bang," followed by two more about one minute apart and a fire truck racing down the street.

He went outside to see what was happening and saw the pickup truck on fire. Gauthier said he believes the noises he heard were the truck's tires popping from the heat.

As of Saturday afternoon, Gatineau police had not ruled out the possibility the fire was intentionally set, said Andrée East, the force's spokesperson.

"If it's criminal, we would have to see what charges can be pressed and if we can find the person who committed the crime. But at this point, it is really too soon to say if it is."

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