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Death toll in Quebec seniors’-home fire now 19, with 13 others missing

Firefighters and police officers work at the scene of a fire at a senior's residence home in L'Isle Verte, Que., on Jan. 24, 2014.

CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/The Globe and Mail

Nineteen people have now been confirmed dead with another 13 still listed as missing after last week's blaze at a seniors' residence in eastern Quebec.

Provincial police gave the update late Wednesday afternoon as painstaking recovery operations continued at Résidence du Havre.

Frigid weather has slowed operations in recent days as emergency crews use special machines to melt thick layers of ice coating the rubble.

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The fire last Thursday destroyed a large part of the residence in L'Isle-Verte, about 240 kilometres northeast of Quebec City. No cause has been determined yet.

The residence had 52 units and many of the elderly people who lived there had limited mobility, needing wheelchairs, walkers or canes to get around.

A commemorative ceremony is scheduled in L'Isle-Verte this coming Saturday.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has confirmed his attendance.

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