Fire department says flames broke out in kitchen early Sunday morning
A 37-year-old woman and her one-year-old twin girls are dead after an early-morning fire in Quebec's Haute-Gaspésie region.
Provincial police say the three were inside a home on des Écoliers Street in Cap-Chat when the fire broke out around 4 a.m. ET.
They were taken to hospital in nearby Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, where they were later pronounced dead. No other details about the victims were immediately available.
The news has come as a shock for the tight-knit community of 2,600 people, said the mayor of Cap-Chat.
"It's unfortunate for the municipality, it's unfortunate for everyone," Jules Landry told Radio-Canada. "Everyone knows each other."
Carol Dugas, the chief of the local fire department, arrived at the scene before police officers. He told Radio-Canada that the flames started in the home's kitchen.
"When we arrived on the scene, we noticed that the building was filled with smoke and that there was a gas explosion because the window was broken and flames were coming from the back of the building," he said.
The fire also forced about 12 people from neighbouring homes as a preventive measure, but none of them was harmed. Police say they will be meeting with them as part of the investigation.
"Once the investigation moves forward, we'll be able to give more details about these tragic deaths," said Hélène Nepton, a spokesperson with the Sûreté du Québec.
Investigators specializing in fires and the provincial police's major crimes division are also on the scene to investigate its cause.
"We're not excluding that it's an accident," said Nepton. "All hypotheses are being considered."