August 12, 2014 10:07 am

Owners of L’Isle-Verte seniors home call for public inquiry

Fire engulfs a seniors residence in L'Isle-Verte, Que., early Thursday, Jan.23, 2014. A multimillion-dollar lawsuit has been filed against the Quebec town where 32 people died in a fire at a seniors' home last January.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frances Drouin

QUEBEC – The owners of a Quebec seniors’ residence are calling for a public inquiry into January’s fire in L’Isle-Verte that killed 32 residents.

Roch Bernier and his lawyer are urging Premier Philippe Couillard to call the inquiry, saying people have a right to know the real story behind the blaze.

Bernier and an insurance company are suing the town for $3.8 million, alleging it failed to implement emergency plans which might have saved lives.

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READ MORE: L’Isle-Verte sued in seniors’ home fire

Quebec provincial police, the coroner’s office and the fire commissioner are all investigating, but Bernier’s lawyer said he doesn’t understand what’s taking so long.

Bernier said he’s frustrated because he can’t get answers to questions about the fire department response time to the blaze.

He wants to know where they were as he saw some people being burned alive and others jumping from the upper floors to escape the flames.

READ MORE: Quebec health minister blasted over loosening of senior safety regulations

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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