Two tragic fire incidents hit in a week

By Robin Della Corte

A young Laval man celebrating his birthday, June 30, ended up in the hospital with serious burns, after revelers tried to use a container of gas to intensify a backyard bonfire at 75 Bérard, in Vimont-Auteuil district.

The victim, who had turned 21 three days earlier, was partying with four friends aged 20-25.

According Laval police spokesperson Franco Di Genova, one of the friends noticed that the fire was going out and went into a back yard shed to get a gas canister.

As the young man poured the gas, the flames reacted quickly and headed towards spout. He noticed the growing flames and threw the canister into the air, where it continued to spew gasoline. The birthday boy was covered in gasoline and immediately caught fire.

The victim had the sense to drop and roll to put out some of the fire while his friends grabbed pool towels to tamp out the remaining flames. His friends then threw him into the pool.

They contacted 911 and the victim was taken to Hôtel Dieu Hospital, where he remained with second degree burns to 25 percent of his body, mostly on the left side of his chest, back and arms.

Two detectives talked to the other four men and concluded that there was no criminal intent.

The incident was eerily similar to an April 21 backyard birthday party blaze in Île Bigras district that left two men, also in their 20s, in an induced in a coma and a third, also in his 20s with second and third degree burns.

Newborn hospitalized after fire

A three-week-old infant spent the night in hospital, June 24, after a fire broke out in a Chomedey residence.

The fire began at 11:35 p.m. in a top-floor bedroom at 3995 Notre Dame.

A total of 20 firefighters responded and evacuated three people from the building—a mother, a father and their son.

The infant was taken to hospital as a precaution and treated for smoke inhalation, Laval fire chief Jocelyn Filiatrault told The Suburban in an interview.

Firefighters succeeded in containing the blaze to the apartment where it began. Filiatrault confirmed that it caused $80,000 in damage to the building’s structure, with another $30,000 worth of furniture destroyed or damaged.

The cause of the fire is unknown, though a candle is suspected. An investigation is currently underway.

With files from Robert Frank

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