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Crews melt ice in search for bodies at seniors' home fire

Friday, January 24, 2014 - 00:58

Jan. 24 - In extremely cold temperatures, police and firefighters search through ice and rubble after a fire ripped through a Quebec retirement home. At least 8 people are dead and 30 are missing. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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In frigid temperatures, authorities continue to search for bodies of elderly people who died in a Quebec fire. Police say at least 8 people have died and about 30 are unaccounted for after a wooden retirement home went up in flames early Thursday morning. Thick ice formed as firefighters, working in temperatures as low as 22 Celsius, or minus 8 Fahrenheit, doused the building for hours. Police spokesman Guy Lapointe spoke of the unforeseen challenges: (SOUNDBITE) (English) LT. GUY LAPOINTE, QUEBEC PROVINCIAL POLICE, SAYING : "So many things can happen that we cannot plan on: the cold is extreme, the equipment could freeze." Now firefighters are using steam machines to melt the ice encasing the corpses… dealing with conditions so cold they can only work 45-minute shifts. The building reportedly only had a partial sprinkler system - in a home where many of the residents' mobility was restricted by wheel chairs or walkers.

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Crews melt ice in search for bodies at seniors' home fire

Friday, January 24, 2014 - 00:58