Police in the Outaouais region say two bodies have been recovered from a house gutted by fire late Saturday night in La Pêche, Que.
According to MRC des Collines police, four people were in the single-family home near the community of Sainte-Cécile-de-Masham — a mother, her two daughters and her boyfriend — when the fire broke out around 10:40 p.m. on Saturday.
The two children were initially reported missing.
The man was taken to a local hospital and is expected to be released, according to police. The woman was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries, but as of Sunday afternoon her condition was stabilizing.
Police told Radio-Canada that the mother went back into the chemin Murray home at one point to search for the girls and suffered burns. First responders had also been searching for them, police said.
"Obviously, it is way too early at this moment to confirm the identity of the victims — but as we all know, we were looking for two young girls that were missing from the beginning of this event," said Sgt. Martin Fournel, spokesperson for the MRC des Collines.
"So we can only assume it's those people. An autopsy will be performed later this week in Montreal, so we will be able after that to confirm the identity."
Cause still under investigation
The fire, which occurred about 40 kilometres northwest of downtown Ottawa, gutted the home fairly quickly, Fournel said.
Firefighters spent all night trying to bring it under control. Some of the officers who responded were "shaken" and were provided with psychological assistance, he added.
"Being a parent myself ... my heart goes [out] to the mom and dad, there's no doubt about it." Fournel said.
Outaouaispolice continue to work with the Sûreté du Québec to determine the cause of the fire.