Montreal police rescue toddler from burning apartment building

Montreal police had to rescue a 18-month-old girl after they found him alone in a burning apartment building early Thursday.

The child’s babysitter, a 50-year-old woman, has been arrested and could face a charge of criminal negligence, Const. Manuel Couture said.

At around 12:45 a.m., police officers were working near the intersection of de Rouen and Dézéry streets when neighbourhood residents flagged them down, saying a fire had broken out in a nearby apartment building.

When they arrived, there was so much smoke inside the building they were forced to crawl on the ground to reach the unit where the fire appeared to have started.

To hospital

They broke down the door and discovered a toddler who was alone and having trouble breathing because of the smoke, Couture said.

The girl was taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and is expected to recover.

It appears the babysitter had put something on the stove, then left that unit to go to another, Couture said. She was still in the building when the fire broke out.

Police officers smoke inhalation

Police officers were treated for smoke inhalation after rushing to the scene of the fire. (Alain Béland/Radio-Canada)

The officers had to break down the doors to several apartments to get other tenants out.

Four police officers were also taken to hospital for smoke inhalation, while four others were treated at the scene.

Police say the cause of the fire appears to have been accidental.

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