Longueuil police said Sunday that a deadly fire that claimed the lives of three people on Saturday, started in the basement of the three-storey residential building.
“It was a cooking fire,” said Longueuil police spokesperson Ghislain Vallières, adding that it was unclear whether the blaze started on the stovetop or in the oven.
The fire broke out at 1:15 a.m. on Saturday in a 16-unit residential building located at the intersection of Toulouse and Plessis Streets.
WATCH: Deadly fire in Longueuil claims the lives of three family members
Three members of the same family, a couple in their 40s and a woman in her 60s — the mother of one of the deceased — perished in the fire.
Eleven others were taken to hospital to be treated for various injuries, ranging from fractures to burns and smoke inhalation, sustained while trying to escape the flames.
On Saturday, firefighters told Global News that their work was made difficult due to strong winds and the cold.
Spokesperson Michel Huguerot said the winds caused the fire to spread quickly and that cold affected not only the crews but their equipment as well.
The building was destroyed and the Red Cross has stepped in to help relocate those affected.
On Saturday, Longueuil Mayor Sylvie Parent took to social media, extending her condolences to friends and family of the victims.
“The flags at city hall will be lowered at half-mast to honour their memory,” the mayor wrote in a tweet.
Parent also thanked first responders for their work and expressed relief that the Red Cross had stepped in to help.
As news of the tragedy spread, so too did the offers to help those affected.
Vallières said those who would like to make a donation can do so as of 8 a.m. Monday by calling the city’s 311 line, or dialing 450 463-7311 if calling from outside Longueuil.
Vallières explained that donors will be asked to state what they would like to donate and to leave their coordinates.
“If you have a fridge to give, we’ll write that down and call you back when we need it,” he said. “We’ll go and pick it up.”
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