[PHOTOS] Major fire in Charlesbourg: two residences completely razed by the flames

A two-unit residential building was completely destroyed by a third-alarm fire that required around 50 firefighters in northern Charlesbourg very early Friday morning.

It was one of the occupants of the place, awakened by his smoke alarm, who contacted the firefighters around 2:51 a.m. when flames were already escaping from his attic.

“When I heard the crackling outside, I ran outside with my fire extinguisher. But I saw that it was already too late,” says Dave Fortier, owner of the house.

As soon as they arrived on site, the firefighters had to request a third alarm because of the significant risk of spread. About fifty firefighters worked to put out the localized fire in the attic, the structure and the rear exterior wall.

“Several openings in the walls were necessary. There was a collapse of part of the roof, ”explains the spokesperson for the Fire Protection Service of the City of Quebec (SPCIQ), Alexandre Lajoie.

Safe and sound

All the occupants of the two residences were able to evacuate the building before it was too late. When he saw the extent of the blaze, Mr. Fortier hastened to get his entire family and animals out of the house.

Photo QMI Agency, Guy Martel

« The smoke alarm possibly saved a life in this case, » said the SPCIQ spokesperson, referring to the man’s father-in-law, who lived in the adjacent apartment.

However, they will not be able to return to their home due to excessive damage to the structure of the building. It was the Red Cross that took care of them.

Photo QMI Agency, Guy Martel

A nearby building also suffered damage to its vinyl siding due to heat from the fire.

Photo QMI Agency, Guy Martel

“Our mother has been traveling in Spain for a week. We are unable to reach her. She’s going to have a nice surprise when she comes back… », sighs Dominic Bérubé, son of the owner.

A responsible cigarette?

The Fire Department went to the scene to determine the origin and cause of the blaze. Everything suggests that it was an accidental event, we are assured.

Photo QMI Agency, Guy Martel

If nothing has been confirmed for the moment, Dave Fortier affirms that a cigarette butt badly extinguished by his father-in-law, who is also his tenant, would be at the origin of the fire.

« The botch was dropped off around 6:30-7 p.m. He worked for a long time before catching fire. Apart from a few devices that the firefighters managed to save, we lost almost everything,” laments the man.

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