At least five residents of a seniors home in L'Ise-Verte, Quebec, are dead, and some 30 others are missing, following a massive blaze on Thursday. According to an NBC news report, fire crews in Quebec are using steam to melt the ice encasing the rubble of the three-story building as they search for more victims.
According to the news report, the cause of the fire at the 52-unit Residence du Havre, built in 1997, has not been determined. The news report quotes Yves Desjardins, who helped build the complex, telling CBC News that only a newer annex built in 2002 had a sprinkler system.
An 2013 NFPA report says automatic sprinklers are highly effective and reliable elements of total system designs for fire protection in buildings. Sprinkler systems are designed to activate early in a real fire (responding to heat not smoke) but not to activate in a non-fire situation.