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  • Madeline Kerr

Fires smoke out seniors, shuts street

Three separate fire-related incidents displaced 17 residents from Le Manoir seniors residence and shut down Wakefield village on Oct. 11.


At around 9:30 a.m. the fire department first visited Le Manoir, located at 775 Riverside Dr., after a small electrical fire in the building’s laundry room was detected. The first was deemed under control at the time, but a couple of hours later, firefighters returned following a report that thick smoke had begun to spread through part of the building.


MRC-des-Collines Police spokesperson Martin Fournel told the Low Down that there are approximately 60 residents housed in the building who were all safely evacuated. No injuries were reported and a statement released by the municipality of La Pêche said that Le Manoir’s emergency plan was implemented effectively.


Nine fire trucks, multiple police cars and an ambulance made the road impassable until mid-afternoon. Residents of three out of four sections of the building were allowed to return to their rooms later that same day, but 17 residents from one section of the building had to be temporarily relocated as their rooms required clearing after having been filled with smoke.


Health authorities with Centre intégré de santé et des services sociaux de l’Outaouais (CISSSO) took charge of caring for the displaced residents.


That evening, fire trucks once again returned to Le Manoir following a report that someone in the building smelled smoke. No fire was detected at that time, and residents were able to remain in the building without incident.


The cause of the fire has been deemed accidental and electrical in origin.


Le Manoir first opened in 1997, but part of the building is well over 150 years old. Once the site of the Wakefield Hospital – prior to its move up the hill on Burnside Drive – the original building was a manor house built by the MacLaren family in the 1860s, according to the Gatineau Valley Historical Society.


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