Dangerous Firefighting Operations Criticized on YouTube at Hometown of Cirque Du Soleil, Saint-Michel, Montreal


A firefighting video posted from St-Michel generated much criticism for lack of safety during firefighting operations at an apartment fire in January 2013.

Montreal firefighters were working on a 3-alarm fire at the corner of 15th Ave and Crémazie E in St-Michel on Wednesday morning, January 23, 2013. Air temperature outside was a cold -25°C (-13°F). After burning for over an hour, firefighters were told to evacuate the building. Some were trapped on the roof and had to escape to the next building with the help of a ladder. A 17 year old girl died in the blaze and the cause is still unknown.

Saint-Michel is a neighbourhood in the Montreal borough of Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension. Its boundaries corresponds to the former city of Ville Saint Michel, which was annexed to Montreal in 1968 — one of the last cities to be merged into Montreal until the 2002 municipal reorganization.

Saint-Michel is home to the headquarters of the world renowned Cirque Du Soleil as well as the Tohu, la Cité des Arts du Cirque and the Complexe environmental Saint-Michel.

A review of comments show criticism, including “hero mentality”, lack of use of Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, unnecessary venting of the roof, unnecessary exposure to carcinogenic gases and the risk of falling through the roof.

Firefighters became trapped on the roof of the burning building, and used a ladder placed horizontally to travel the gap between two buildings.

The value of fire videos … learning and understanding risks and good judgment for the job.

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