L'Isle Verte attendant blames careless smoking

The night attendant on duty when a deadly fire broke out at a seniors residence in L'Isle Verte last January says he will tell a provincial inquiry the same thing he said from the start: careless smoking by a resident was to blame.

Quebec announced the inquiry yesterday. It will be headed by experienced coroner Cyrille Delage.

Seniors home attendant Bruno Belanger has told La Presse that even though police ruled out smoking as a cause, he is positive that's what started the fire that killed 32 seniors.

He discounts the alternate theory, that the flames originated in the kitchen.

Belanger says he had been in the kitchen preparing Jello for the next day's meals but did not leave the stove on and detected no smoke there when the fire alarm sounded.

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