Man defends dead dad amid cigarette firestarter allegations

Emergency workers walk through the remains of the senior residence Residence du Havre in L'Isle...

Emergency workers walk through the remains of the senior residence Residence du Havre in L'Isle Verte, Quebec, January 25, 2014. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

Nicolas Lachance, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:14 PM ET

ISLE-VERTE, Que. - The son of the man who some say started the fire at the Residence du Havre is refuting accusations his dad set the building ablaze with a cigarette.

Instead, a man who identified himself as Jean-Andre said the culprit could be a recently installed kitchen device that made the home smell constantly like smoke, or a malfunctioning heater, which set off the residence's alarm just days before the fire.

Jean-Andre said he cannot believe his dad, a 96-year-old father of seven, could have been responsible for the fire at the Quebec seniors' home that has left 10 dead and another 22 missing.

He said his father respected the rules and no longer smoked cigarettes inside the home.

"I don't believe it," Jean-Andre told QMI Agency through tears. "He had been warned in the past not to smoke in his room. Since then, there was no evidence that he had broken the rules."


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