Canadians firefighters from the Quebec city fire department had a great challenge awaiting them this morning. A fast moving fire in the uptown part of the city put their skills at test. Upon transmission of the first alarm at 4:09 am, the division chief, wich station is a couple a blocks from the fire, transmitted a second alarm from his office. At this time, the 911 dispatch was already receiving multiple calls reporting the fire. Just 8 minutes after the initial call, a fourth alarm had been strucked and the next platoon (starting their shift at 06h30) was called to back-up the teams fighting the fire and to put some reserve truck in duty to protect the city from another incident.
"Quartier St-Jean Baptiste" is a very unique portion of the city. Very old houses, very close to each other and in very narrow streets with electrical wires hanging from everywhere, make fighting fire in this part of the city very difficult. In this case, the fire spreaded a house down from the original fire building. In just a couple minute, we had two building involved. We have been able to stop the rapid progression of the fire and put it in under control in less than 4 hours. Official report count one person dead. One of the first arriving district chief say that it is only with the efforts and dedication of the firefighters that a big tragedy did not occured.
Quebec city fire department is one of the oldest in north America. It count approximately 300 carreer firefighters stationned in eleven houses. It also operate 5 part-time stations (on call). Quebec city will be the host of the "World police and fire games" held from June 26 to July 5, 2005. More informations available on the department web site at