February 19, 2019 11:10 am
Updated: February 19, 2019 12:15 pm

Longueuil police warn of fraudster taking advantage of devastating fatal fire

WATCH ABOVE: Longueuil police are cautioning residents about a fraudster trying to take advantage of the apartment fire that happened earlier this month. As Global's Billy Shields reports investigators say someone has been posing as a victim or as a neighbour trying to profit from the tragic event.


Longueuil police are warning residents to be wary of a fraudster allegedly posing as a victim of an apartment fire that took place earlier this month.

Police say the fraudster has been contacting neighbours through social media to solicit sums of money.

“Last week, some citizens wrote to us on our Facebook page and they told us that a man claimed money, and that he was a victim of the fire,” said Mélanie Mercille, a Longueuil police spokesperson.

READ MORE: Longueuil families left homeless by apartment fire find outpouring of support

This comes after a fire tore through a residential building at the intersection of Toulouse and Plessis streets just after 1 a.m. on Feb. 9, killing three people and leaving an 11-year-old boy orphaned.

The blaze started in the basement of the three-storey building.

WATCH BELOW: Three dead after fire rips through Longueuil apartment building

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The victims were three members of the same family — a couple in their 40s and a woman in her 60s who was the mother of one of the deceased.

Eleven people from eight of the building’s 16 units were taken to hospital, suffering various injuries, including smoke inhalation, burns and possible fractures from jumping off balconies to escape the flames.

READ MORE: Fire that claimed three lives in Longueuil started in basement, police say

Firefighters said their work was made difficult due to strong winds and the cold.

WATCH BELOW: 3 family members die in Longueuil fire

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.

Anyone with information about the fraudster is asked to anonymously call 450-463-7100 ext. 2751.

READ MORE: 3 dead after fire tears through residential building in Longueuil

Anyone who would like to donate money to the victims of the fire are encouraged to do so through the Red Cross or by calling the city’s 311 line — 450 463-7311 if calling from outside Longueuil.

Donors will be asked to state what they would like to donate and to leave their coordinates.

WATCH BELOW: Community outpouring following fatal fire in Longueuil

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