OTTAWA -- As temperatures hit -30C in the early hours of Saturday morning, a group of young people was forced into the cold as they fled a burning house.
Two women, aged 21 and 23, died in the blaze and several others, including a pregnant 21-year-old, suffered hypothermia and smoke inhalation.
Paramedics, fire fighters and police arrived at the burning home at 2:50 a.m. By then, most of the occupants had already fled, ending up outside without shoes and wearing little clothing.
Three teenagers, aged 16, 17 and 18, were also treated for hypothermia and smoke inhalation and taken to hospital, as was a 20-year-old man.
"They all came running out," said neighbour Rob OfNeil. "They were standing there in bare feet."
He said the house was home to students, and several neighbours also confirmed students lived in the house.