A first victim of the fire at the Place d’Youville building in Old Montreal was identified by authorities on Wednesday. This is Camille Maheux, a 76-year-old photographer who had lived in the building for 30 years. The police also confirmed in the evening that they had extricated two other bodies from the rubble of the building.

Inspector David Shane, spokesperson for the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), first confirmed the identity of Ms. Maheux during a brief press briefing in the afternoon in front of the burnt building, where the search for victims is still continuing. The body of Ms. Maheux, who had been missing for several days, had been found by the emergency services last Sunday.

His identification was formalized by the Laboratory of Forensic Sciences and Forensic Medicine (LSJML), in collaboration with coroner Me Géhane Kamel. “The victim’s family has been notified by investigators. We are wholeheartedly with you, ”insisted Mr. Shane, indicating that another press briefing should be held by the SPVM at the start of the day, Thursday.

At the end of the evening, Wednesday, agent Julien Lévesque, media relations officer at the SPVM, then confirmed that the search teams managed to locate a third and a fourth victim, “and to extract them from the building”. “The bodies of these victims have been entrusted to LSJML pathologists, so that their experts can carry out the identification work,” said Mr. Lévesque, without going any further.

Recall that a second body had been located, then extricated from the building last Tuesday. However, his identity has not yet been confirmed. With the two bodies discovered on Wednesday evening, there are still three missing people missing among the rubble of the building.

At this time, Montreal police say they will not provide further details on the specific circumstances that led to Ms. Maheux’s whereabouts, “out of respect for her loved ones.” Typically, positive identification of a victim, however, requires “two factors: either DNA or a dental chart,” Detective Shane explained.

Documentary photographer, Camille Maheux worked mainly from Montreal, but also in Brazil since 1982, where she notably covered the 1º Festival Nacional de Mulheres nas Artes in São Paulo. Member of Plessisgraphe (1975-1985), a photography workshop of the 1970s and 1980s, she also participated in numerous exhibitions in Canada, Brazil, France and Italy, in addition to having published her photos in several magazines. and magazines.

On Wednesday, Robert Laca, the grandfather of Charlie Lacroix, one of the people still missing, spoke in front of the cameras. ” It’s always the same thing. It’s hell. I am not able to accept that, because it is not normal that we have experienced a situation like that. There were things that happened and there will have to be a full investigation. […] For now, I just want her out of there,” said the man, who shows up daily at the dig site.

In a video posted on Reddit on Wednesday, we can see one of the apartments that were rented in the burned building. “It’s a bit weird because there are no windows. […] It’s the only thing that’s a little suspicious, “says a young man, who was then shooting a site visit for a loved one.

As for what’s next on this file, David Shane recalled, “every day will be a new challenge.” “As we progress, there will be easier days and more difficult days. […] Anything is expected in this investigation,” he reasoned.

While early research has focused on “more easily accessible” areas of the building, excavations should soon move to the lower floors.

“We’re going to have to use more and more tools to get to those floors. We will progress as we go, depending on the risk of collapse,” insisted Mr. Shane, recalling that the teams are already busy “removing pieces of debris” to progress further.

The chimneys of the building should also be removed soon, in order to speed up the search. “[We will stay] as long as it takes,” concluded Mr. Shane, reiterating his sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of Camille Maheux.