NEWS

3 out of hospital after Quebec fire that killed 2

04/19/2013 11:17 EDT | Updated 06/19/2013 05:12 EDT
Three of the survivors of a house fire in Thurso, Que., that killed two girls are out of hospital, and the conditions of the other three survivors are improving.

Natashas Fortin, her boyfriend Martin Leger, and a 12-year-old girl remain in hospital after the fire on Wednesday morning in the small western Quebec town, which is 45 kilometres east of the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

The fire, which was caused by a problem in the basement's electrical junction box, killed two girls, aged three and eight. Quebec provincial police have ruled out any criminal intent.

The dead girls have been identified as Rebecca Leger, 8, and Amanda Price, 3.

There were eight people inside the home when the fire broke out, including Fortin, Leger, five children who lived at the home and 11-year-old Anouck Robineau. Robineau was staying overnight for a sleepover with her friend, who remains in hospital.

Doctors said the girl is in critical but stable condition after she was badly burned when she opened a basement door.

Leger was also critically injured but has improved enough to be moved out of intensive care. Fortin is in hospital as a precaution after she was slightly injured.

A six-month-old baby, a young boy and Robineau have been released from hospital.

Escape from basement

Robineau said she was scared for her life when she escaped from the home with her friend.

She said she was having a sleepover in the basement of the two-storey house on Lacroix Street when they heard Fortin’s screams.

The girls then escaped through a basement window with Leger’s help.

Once outside, the six people who survived the fire looked up to see an eight-year-old girl trying to escape out of her bedroom window on the second floor.

Robineau said she saw flames surround the girl, who could not open the window. The father tried to climb up to rescue the girl and her three-year-old sister, but he couldn't reach them.

Firefighters found the bodies of the girls inside the home more than three hours later, after the fire was finally extinguished.

Fire officials don't know if there were any working smoke detectors in the home.

A makeshift memorial was set up outside the two-storey house on Lacroix Street, and it continues to grow as local residents show their support for the family.

MORE:cbcNews