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6 dead, including 4 children, after Quebec house fire


Six people are dead, including four children, after a fire destroyed a residence in Sainte-Jacques, in Quebec’s Lanaudiere region, early Thursday morning.

Quebec provincial police spokesperson Eloise Cossette confirmed the deaths Thursday afternoon, saying it corresponded to information they had earlier in the day. The children are all under the age of eight, she said.

Authorities received a call at around 1 a.m. to report a massive blaze at the home, located on Rang du Cordon, near Moncharme St.

Firefighters handed the scene to police at around 4 a.m., and by the time officers arrived, “the residence was completely destroyed,” according to Cossette.

The bodies were discovered inside the house. Cossette said the victims were asleep at the time.

Their identities have not yet been confirmed, and formal identification will take place in a laboratory.

Major crimes investigators were dispatched to the scene with hopes of uncovering the cause of the fire, as officers picked through the ruins and spoke to neighbours.

"The first thing we noticed was the bang, the bang we heard," said neighbour Melanie Jalbert, who said she and her spouse saw the house go up in flames within minutes.

Jalbert said the woman living in the home had given birth in December.

So far the cause of the fire is unclear, said Cossette, and that a banging sound might have been made by a collapsing wall, a feul tank, or possibly an exploding tire.

"It's still unexplained," she said. "We haven't found anything suspicious regarding the cause of the fire at this point." 

Cossette says the investigators in charge of sifting through the remains of the house were also on the site of the Saint-Roch-de-L'Achigan explosion earlier this month. 

St-Jacques Mayor Josianne forest said news of the fatal fire was difficult to hear for the town of 400 people.

"It's a small community here, it's really hard for us," she said. Top Stories

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