Quebec police investigate two deadly nighttime fires during blackout

MONTREAL—Five people have died in a series of deadly fires in Quebec, two of which are being investigated by state police.

Three people, including a 36-year-old woman, have died in a fire in Saint-Basil, near Quebec City.

Firefighters were summoned to three facilities in the town around 4:30 a.m. Saturday, state police said.

Police Sergeant Sergeant. Nicolas Scholtus said the fire appeared to have started in his third-floor apartment.

He said first responders found a woman at the unit, who was later confirmed dead at the hospital, and that firefighters found two more bodies after the blaze was extinguished. It was not announced immediately.

Former police spokesperson Sgt. Stéphane Tremblay said firefighters found his one body at a residence in Louisville, northeast of Montreal, after a fire that started around 10 p.m. Friday night.

Also in Quebec City, the local fire department said one person was dead and another was in critical condition after a fire broke out in the city on Saturday morning.

Fire chief Christian Paradis told reporters that unattended candles were likely the cause of the fire.

“Never leave lit candles unattended at bedtime. Extinguish candles. Be careful,” he told reporters.

Quebec’s fire department received as many calls on Friday as it normally receives in a month, Paradis said.

“Yesterday marked the 253rd anniversary of the founding of the Fire Protection Service,” he said.

The fires came amid a massive winter storm that brought frigid temperatures, high winds and heavy snow across much of the state.

canadian press