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Updated: Fri, 24 Jan 2014 09:47:48 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

L'Isle-Verte seniors' home search complicated by cold



Civil Security officers walk by debris from a fatal fire which destroyed a seniors' residence in L'Isle-Verte, Que. Jacques Boissinot/CP

Civil Security officers walk by debris from a fatal fire which destroyed a seniors' residence in L'Isle-Verte, Que. Jacques Boissinot/CP

Search and rescue crews will continue the complicated task of looking for 30 seniors this morning after a fire ripped through their residence in L'Isle-Verte, Que., killing at least five people.

The crews are up against extreme cold and a thick coating of ice over the rubble, say police.

 The tragedy has been designated as a Fourth Level response, meaning that local officials, the Quebec coroners’ office and the Quebec forensic laboratory are involved in the operation. 

Police are reminding members of the public to stay outside marked-off perimeters. They have set up a yellow zone around the scene, and inside that, a red zone, which circles the remains of the building.  

Around 20 people were rescued and brought to nearby health centres and hospitals shortly after the fire started around 12:30 a.m. ET Thursday.

A total of 52 people were listed as living in the building, but Quebec provincial police are still trying to pin down how many of them were inside at the time of the fire. 

Police are expected to provide another update at the scene this morning. 

Red Cross asks for donations

The Red Cross launched a collection for donations on Friday morning, asking the public to donate to those affected by the tragedy. 

The fund will be used to help victims' families and evacuees pay for essential needs.

According to the Red Cross, there is a need for at least $50,000 in donations. 

Volunteers with the Red Cross have been on the scene since 3 a.m. Thursday, meeting with survivors. 

In addition to financial donations, which will cover housing, clothing and food, the Red Cross says there is a need for dentures, hearing aids, mobility aids and glasses.

To make a donation, click here. 

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