(Magog) People who lived in the Place de la Gondola, including families with children, were in shock Tuesday afternoon. Some knew they had probably lost everything while others were unaware of the extent of damage in their homes.
“I am lucky because I am in part spared, says Rose Desautels, one of the tenants of the building. Surely there is some damage in my apartment. But that has nothing to do with the losses suffered by others. I find it terrible to think that the neighbors have nothing. ”
Ms. Desautels was at work when he was informed that a fire had broken out at the Gondola Square. “I was coming down the highway and I saw the smudge that rose into the sky. I hoped it would not affect my housing, “she admits.
The young woman said she was happy to Gondola Square. “It’s a very quiet place to live with friendly people. The owner of the building is also very cooperative. I hope to continue to live here. ”
Having lived Lasalle City for 25 years, Francine Laurin thought he had found a little piece of paradise, just steps from Lake Magog. “I am newly retired. I was glad to have found this beautiful place, “she reveals.
Obviously, Ms. Laurin did not expect to live a similar situation. “I do not know what I’ll do now, she admits. But we must think. We are powerless before this kind of event.
The building owner, Jonathan Marleau, unaware Tuesday what would happen to the building. “We’ll give time before deciding if not reconstructing,” he mentioned.
“I heard a loud noise”
The major fire destroyed a large part of an apartment building located along the River Road in Magog Tuesday. Several people who lived in the Place de la Gondola lost everything in the disaster, which would be accidental in nature.
Firefighters were called to the scene of the fire shortly before noon Tuesday. They soon realized the scale of the challenge they faced. The fire began on a balcony on the second floor and would quickly spread.
La Gondola Square has a total of 11 units. The fire has destroyed the second floor. And the water used by firefighters, obviously caused significant damage in some additional apartments.
“I was going to take a shower and I heard a loud noise, says Francine Laurin, one of the tenants of the building. I looked outside and saw people running. I knew he had to get out. ”
The building owner, Jonathan Marleau, watched helplessly blaze Tuesday afternoon. He was not present at the Place de laGondole when the fire broke out, but quickly rushed once informed of the situation.
“This is the first time I saw a fire and I find it really sad. This is unfortunate for the families left homeless. Fortunately, it happened in broad daylight. It could have been much worse if it had occurred during the night, “said Mr. Marleau.
The value of the burned building would be around one million $. It was too early on Tuesday to estimate losses accurately. The acting director of the protection service against fires Magog, Serge Collins, however acknowledged that it was “significant damage”.
According to information obtained from Mr Collins, a man suffered discomfort after the appearance of flames. He was taken to hospital as a precaution. A firefighter also suffered from dehydration.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the acting director of the city’s fire protection service was not able to confirm the exact cause of the blaze.
“On the gallery where it started, there was a barbecue, a pot cigarette and an electrical outlet, Serge says Collins. These are three elements that could be involved. That said, I do not think the explosion of a propane tank is the cause of the fire. ”
Witnessing the scene, residents of the area said that the firefighters intervened late and have been slow to attack the blaze more aggressively.
“It’s always long when you expect firefighters, says Mr. Collins. In this case, the fire occurred in rural areas, which changes things. But still we had four tanks to feed us. We had no large jets at the beginning. That said, there is no lack of water. ”
Forty firefighters from Magog, Sherbrooke and Orford, participated in the operation. A fire hydrant located in the territory of Sherbrooke was harnessed to fight the blaze.