Cause of tragedy still
The absence of a working smoke alarm
and of a home fire escape planwere factors
in the fire, the Office of the Fire Marshal
OFM investigators have determined the
blaze originated on the exterior porch at the
As Alexandria tried to deal with the death of a youngmother and her three
front of the home, blocking the only exit
children, investigators tried to determine the cause of a devastating blaze on
from the home.
East Boundary Road last Friday morning.
Investigators also have determined that
Monday, Maxime Cholette, just 22 months, passed away at the Children’s
while there was a working smoke alarm on
the main storey of the home, there was no
“He never left the intensive care unit,” Mailloux said.
battery in the smoke alarm outside the
His mother, Sarah, 22, and her two other children, Chloe, 3 and Jacob, 10
sleeping areas on the second storey.
months, were killed in the earlymorning fire on East Boundary Road. The only
The household had three small children
remaining survivor of the blaze is the children’s father, MartinDesjardins, who
and highlights the importance of having a
was airlifted to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto in serious condition Friday
home fire escape plan.
The OFM continues to work closely with
Tired, sullen firefighters and grim-faced investigators from the Ontario
theNorthGlengarryFireDepartment on the
Provincial Police huddled in front of the charred home early Fridaymorning as
officers interviewed potential witnesses to the blaze. Brian Sliepenbeek, who
What to do
lives a couple houses north of the fire scene, said hiswife Rachel ran to help and
To ensure everyone is safe from fire, the
he remained with his children and called 911 after hearing calls for help at
Officeof theFireMarshal isurging residents
around 2:30 a.m. “My wife ran over to help. I called 911. Then all hell broke
to test smoke alarms to make sure they are
loose,” he said as he stood on a street corner near the scene. Rachel was one of
working, install battery-operated smoke
the first people on the scene and, at the request of firefighters, tended toMartin,
whohad leapt out of awindowto escape the blaze. Cholettewouldoftenbe seen
a battery back-up, and develop and practise
by neighbours playing in her yardwith her children or takingwalks around the
a home fire escape plan to ensure everyone
neighbourhood. “It’sa tragedy, inasmall neighbourhoodlike this,”Sliepenbeek
knows what to do if a fire occurs.
said. “When it’s a small community, it really affects everybody.” The OPP’s
It’s the law in Ontario to have working
SD&G Detachment Crime Unit is assisting the Ontario Office of the Chief
smoke alarms on every storey of the home
Coroner and the Office of the Fire Marshal with the investigation.
and outside all sleeping areas.
Photo Greg Kielec
This is the second fatal fire in Alexandria in two years. In April 2010, Sue
Failure to comply with the law can result
Four people died in an early-morning fire that
Delorme, the owner of the SueMagoo’s bar, died after a fire broke out above the
ina ticket of $235or a fine of up to$50,000 for
destroyed this East Boundary Road home.
Main Street establishment.
individuals or $100,000 for corporations.
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Pour plus de renseignements, communiquez avec Gilles Normand au 613 632-4151.
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