A single mother whose three-year-old son suffered serious burns in a fire in her apartment is calling for vigilance to prevent electrical fires.
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"I don't want to live anywhere anymore because I'm afraid of all the apartments. I'm afraid that the fire will come back, ”says Zaïnab Rehman.
The 37-year-old woman is still shaken by the fire that suddenly broke out on Monday in a room in her low-rent housing where Muhammed, her three-year-old son, was lying. The apartment is a total loss.
The child suffered second-degree burns, including to a leg, hand, shoulders and face. He was still hospitalized yesterday to treat his injuries which were not life threatening.
It was after she tucked her son in around 6 p.m. that Ms. Rehman heard him start crying.
“He was crying louder and louder. I ran. I opened the door [de la chambre] and the fire was there, ”says the single mother who also has two other boys aged 9 and 14 who were able to leave the apartment unscathed.
“I was screaming,” she continues, explaining that she braved the fire to get her toddler out and run outside.
The Fire Safety Department could not confirm the cause of the fire to the Journal on Thursday evening.
According to Ms. Rehman, the firefighters explained to her that an electrical outlet located on a piece of furniture acting as an extension cord would be in question.
"There was a short in the outlet," she says, explaining that the outlet couldn't support the lamp and phone charger plugged into it.
Ms. Rehman wants to raise awareness about this type of problem in order to prevent other disasters like the one she experienced.
“You have to be very careful about that. You have to read the instructions before using this kind of grip,” she says.
Little Muhammed, who still hasn't started walking again, will need to undergo physiotherapy treatments and his recovery will take up to six weeks, according to his mother.
Citizens of her community have already been mobilized to help the mother buy furniture, clothes and food.
“When I knew that, look, I could have been in his place. It can happen to anyone, ”explains Anastasia Marcelin, a committed citizen of Montreal North who coordinates this mobilization. Those wishing to donate to the mother in need can contact her here.
“[Housing] is a total loss, there is a lot of work to be done, said Mathieu Vachon, director of communications for the OMHM, which manages HLMs in the city. The lady has already been able to visit another accommodation and there is a lease signing scheduled for today.
"I have no more money. I have nothing left,” said Zaïnab Rehman sadly.