Gatineau mother charged in Buckingham fire that fatally injured baby – Ottawa Citizen

Gatineau mother charged in Buckingham fire that fatally injured baby - Ottawa Citizen
Mother arrested in Buckingham fire that killed baby
Technicians investigate the scene of a fatal fire in Buckingham on Aug. 31. Patrick Doyle / Postmedia

A 38-year-old Gatineau woman faces charges including arson and manslaughter in connection with a fire in Buckingham in which her three-month-old baby son was fatally injured.

The three-month-old was among the seriously injured and succumbed to his injuries in hospital. The man and a child under the age of two are still hospitalized; their condition is considered serious, but there is no risk of them dying.

The baby was rushed to CHEO, but succumbed to his injuries hours after the Aug. 31 fire on Paluck Street.

Mélanie Valiquette, 38, of Gatineau, was arrested Thursday, around 5 p.m., in connection with the fire. She faces arson charges involving property damage, life-threatening arson and manslaughter. 

The baby’s father, a man in his 30s, and his toddler sibling remain in the hospital after suffering smoke inhalation and very serious burns but are expected to survive, police said Friday.

Investigators found two separate fires at the scene, one in a vehicle parked outside the residential building and one inside.

After speaking to witnesses, Valiquette was arrested Thursday at took her to the police station where she was met by investigators, police said.

Firefighters were called for a fire in a vehicle beside the two-storey, two-apartment building at 160 Paluck St. shortly before 2 a.m.

The Gatineau Police Service is charging a 38-year-old woman after the death of a three-month-old baby in a Buckingham area fire.

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A Gatineau woman has been arrested in connection with a fatal fire in the city's Buckingham sector that killed her three-month-old son.

The 38-year-old woman faces three charges including manslaughter, arson causing death and arson causing property damage, the Gatineau Police Service said in a French-language statement Friday afternoon.

Five people, including the woman and her baby, were injured in the fire that broke out on rue Paluck at around 2 a.m. on Aug. 31.

Firefighters initially received reports that a vehicle was on fire, but when they got to the scene, the flames had spread to a nearby duplex.

While flames blocked the building's front door, firefighters were able to get 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 succumbed to his injuries later that evening.

Patrick L'Abbée-Chouinard, a man in his 30s, suffered burns to 85 per cent of his body and subsequently underwent surgery in Montreal, according to his mother.

A 20-month-old girl also suffered serious injuries. Both are still in hospital, Gatineau Police Service spokesperson Andrée East said Friday.

"She was one of the persons who was injured. It was not serious injuries, but she was injured as well. She was in the apartment at the moment of the fire," East said.

East said investigators eventually determined that two vehicles had been set ablaze: one parked outside and one parked inside. 

"This is the only information that  we can give at this point. But everything will be released in court," she said.

The woman walked into a Gatineau courtroom Friday afternoon in handcuffs, wiping tears from her eyes. She had difficulty speaking as she addressed the judge.

She was released with a number of conditions, including not having any contact with three people. Her next court date is Dec. 20.

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