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Quebec firefighter loses life after wall collapses in burning building: union

March 29, 2022
By The Canadian Press

Mar. 29, 2022, Lac-Saint-Jean, Que. – A firefighter lost his life after responding to a call in Lac-Saint-Jean, Que. Thursday evening, according to the Quebec Firefighters Union.

The victim, 51-year-old Dominic Jean, was among firefighters called to fight a fire at a dairy farm housing 70 cows in Saint-Edmond-les-Plaines.

An investigation is planned to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the part-time firefighter’s death.

According to a Friday report from union advisor and vice president Sylvain Côté, a wall collapsed while Jean was inside the building.

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“It remains to be determined with the investigation, but from what we know, there was debris that fell on him,” Côté told The Canadian Press.

“At that time, his colleague (got out of the building and) realized that Dominic was not with him.”

Authorities found Jean under the rubble while the fire was still raging. He was brought to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Quebec’s labour standards board and provincial police will conduct the investigation into Jean’s death.

‘A VERY GOOD FIREFIGHTER’

Jean was a firefighter for 18 years, according to Côté.

At the time of his death, he was employed by the GÉANT Intermunicipal Fire Safety Board. The board’s acronym refers to the first letter of the five municipalities within its territory; Girardville, Saint-Edmond-les-Plaines, Albanel, Normandin and Saint-Thomas.

“He was a very good firefighter,” said Côté, who knew Jean through union activities. He said Jean had a great sense of humour.

“For everyone there, it’s a shock wave,” he added. “It’s a small environment, everyone knows each other, which makes it all the more difficult for his family and colleagues.’

Jean is the third Quebec firefighter to have died in recent months, the union noted.

In October, a Montreal firefighter lost his life in the St. Lawrence River during an intervention to help a couple in distress on a boat. Months later, a firefighter from the Quebec City region died following a fire in Boischatel.