12-year-old girl dies after being trapped in basement during Montreal house fire
MONTREAL -- A 12-year-old girl has died after being trapped in the basement of her LaSalle home when it caught fire Tuesday morning.
Montreal firefighters were able to remove the girl from the house and performed CPR on her for about 20 minutes before sending her with paramedics to the Lachine hospital.
There, she was treated for burns and smoke inhalation before the hospital confirmed her death around 11 a.m.
The house had no smoke detector, the Montreal fire department confirmed.
The fire started at around 9 a.m., the fire department said. The girl’s two siblings, an 18-year-old sister and 10-year-old brother, were also in the house at the time but were able to get out and run to a neighbour's for safety.
When firefighters arrived a few minutes later, the siblings told them their sister was still in the house. The two siblings were later taken to the hospital to be treated for shock, the fire department said.
The childrens' mother rushed home from work to the news that her middle child had died.
"She returned, she was called by her neighbours, and obviously because of the incidents [she's in] a state of shock as well," said Matthew Griffith of Montreal Fire. "She was taken care of by Urgences Santé."
Nearby residents said they were horrified.
"It's heartbreaking, because I have grandchildren about the same age and I can't imagine the poor mother coming home to knowing her child has passed away," said Pat Marshall, someone who lives nearby. "It's inconceivable."
Around 40 firefighters were called to the scene at 273 Marroni St. in LaSalle. By 10:30, the fire was under control.
Investigators will analyze the scene over the course of the day on Tuesday to attempt to determine the cause of the fire. The fire department says the fire was mostly confined to the basement, but the overall damage to the house was still significant and that it is currently uninhabitable.
Firefighters could tell right away when they arrived that the alarms were missing or not working in the home, they said.
“The firefighters who arrived on scene first did not hear the sound of a fire alarm. I can’t say if there was one (or) if it was dysfunctional, but it appeared as though there wasn’t one," said Jean-Francois Larente, from the Montreal fire department, on Tuesday morning.
Later, the department was able to confirm that there were no smoke detectors installed in the home.
They wanted to remind all Montreal households to install smoke alarms on every floor of the home and to check regularly that they're working.
“We’d like to reiterate the message, once again, that it’s important,” Larente said.