(QUEBEC, Canada) — A fire has ravaged a senior home in Quebec, Canada, killing three people. Police say an additional 30 people are missing after the blaze broke out early Thursday morning.
The building, called Residence du Havre in the town of L’Isle-Verte, is home to residents age 85 and older who are mostly dependent on wheelchairs and walkers. Only five are able to function independently, according to the Globe and Mail.
Firefighters from six communities battled flames in below-zero temperatures. In a news conference, fire chief Yvan Charron said some of the trucks, hoses and pipes froze.
The facility’s website says it has automatic sprinkler protection, but the front part of the residence did not have sprinklers installed since its construction in 1997.
A witness told the Globe and Mail some residents were jumping from the second and third floors of the building, and children were trying to rescue their parents from the fire. Residents from neighboring houses were evacuated due to the blaze and high winds. Sixteen survivors from the senior home were temporarily relocated to a gym at a nearby school.
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Ralph Ellis, Ben Wedeman and Michael Pearson, CNN
Michael Pearson and Steve Almasy, CNN