Isle-Verte tragedy highlights issue of fire safety in seniors' homes

Francois Drouin/

The deadly seniors' home fire in the eastern Quebec community of l'Isle Verte is raising important fire safety concerns in seniors' residences.

Reports say in the older part of the Résidence du Havre building, water sprinklers were not installed.

In Quebec, seniors' residences are not obliged by law to have sprinkler systems.

Yves Desjardins with Quebec's senior residence association says they've been fighting for years to make sprinkler systems mandatory.

"It's necessary, because we have people who need assistance with evacuation," Desjardins says.

Desjardins says the building did have a fire alarm and every room had smoke detectors.

In Ontario, a law requiring automatic sprinkler systems in seniors' homes took effect this past Jan. 1.

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