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2 dead after house fire in Rawdon, Que.


Two people are dead after a house fire in the municipality of Rawdon, about an hour north of Montreal. It was the first of two deadly residential fires in the region on Friday morning.

Close friends have identified the victims as Sue Ellen Jones and her husband Christopher Millar. Police have yet to confirm their identities but say the owners of the home, a man and a woman in their 70s, are missing.

"It’s just incredible the loss and the shock that it is to have lost her," said Nathan McNutt, a friend of the couple who said Jones was a well-known volunteer. She helped out as a member of the Anglican church, the Rawdon Multiethnic Interpretation Centre, Meals on Wheels and the English Community Organization of Lanaudiere.

"She had energy. She was a spark plug. She was just intelligent, but combined with her ability to just get things done. Just smart as a whip," he said.

Sue Ellen Jones, right, with her friend Nathan McNutt.

Quebec provincial police (SQ) said a 911 caller told them her house was on fire just before 1:30 a.m. on Friday.

When police officers arrived on the scene, they were unable to get inside the residence on Rectory Garden Street due to the flames, SQ spokesperson Eloise Cossette said.

Firefighters soon arrived to put out the blaze.

"Firefighters found two bodies inside the residence and they were dead," said Cossette.

Mayor Raymond Rougeau was on the scene Friday morning.

"I'm feeling sad," he said. "We're a small-knit community and everybody knows each other. I know the owner of that house."

The building was believed to be one of the oldest homes in Rawdon, built in 1844. According to friends, the couple bought the home a few years ago.

Fire scene experts from the SQ's major crimes unit are investigating what may have caused the fire, and police say the building’s age could have been a factor.

"It was an old house with a lot of wood. So it’s possible the structure played a role why the fire was so intense," said Cossette.


Firefighters in Boisbriand, Que., north of Montreal, were called to the scene of a fire at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. A man, 91, and woman, 46, were pulled from the fire and transported to hospital where they were pronouced dead. 

An investigation is ongoing into the causes of that fire. Top Stories

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