A 10-year-old boy who jumped out of a fourth-floor apartment in Quebec City early this morning to escape a fire says everyone in his family got out alive thanks to his mother’s partner.
“For my stepfather, only my mother mattered. He didn’t care about getting himself out. It was my mother who mattered,” Jason Chicoine told Radio-Canada in a French interview hours after he was discharged from hospital.
“Before I jumped, I could see the [Christmas] tree on fire … The fire reached all the way out to the balcony. My mother’s clothesline was on fire, my toys — everything.”
Chicoine’s mother and her partner, who also jumped from the fourth-storey after Chicoine did, remain in hospital with serious injuries.
When the fire broke out, neighbours tried to save the family.
“We tried to get in, but we weren’t able to,” said neighbour Jules Harvey-Lacroix.
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The fire in the borough of Charlesbourg broke out around 4:55 a.m. ET. Firefighters took over the rescue effort when they arrived at the scene after the
A neighbour who lives across the street from the building told CBC News that he heard the boy saying he was afraid to jump.
A dramatic amateur video of the incident shot by neighbour Richard Busque showed the boy being held from the window and dropped to safety by his mother’s partner.
Black smoke can be seen pouring from the window and flames shoot through a balcony door a few metres away.
The boy is followed by his mother. The man jumps last.
Someone on the ground caught the boy, and the mother and her partner jumped into the snow below.
The boy and the man were hurt, but the fire department said their injuries weren’t critical. The boy was treated for a small burn before his release.
The mother’s brother, Alexis Collin, told CBC News that his sister was in an induced coma.
Both Busque, who shot the video, and Collin told CBC News the family had to jump because a fire department truck malfunctioned and could not deploy its ladder.
However, fire department spokesman Capt. Jean-François Daigle said it’s too soon to tell if that’s actually what happened.
“There was trouble on one truck, and it will be assessed by an expert to determine what went wrong. If it happened before or after [the residents jumped] will become clear as things progress.”
Forty firefighters helped get the fire under control by 6:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.