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A look at some of the seven victims who perished in Old Montreal fire

Dania Zafar, shown in a handout photo, is one of the seven victims of a fire that swept through an Old Montreal building on March 16, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Zafar Mahmood **MANDATORY CREDIT**

Montreal police said seven people perished in a fire that swept through an Old Montreal building on the morning of March 16. Victims are from Ontario, Quebec and the United States. After discovering the final two bodies on Monday, police said they did not believe there were any other victims in the rubble.

Here is a list of the victims who have been identified or reported missing.

An Wu, 31, a neuroscientist doing post-doctoral work at the University of California San Diego, was in Montreal for a conference. She had decided to extend her stay for a night because she loved the city. The late Montrealer Leonard Cohen was her favourite singer and poet. A colleague described her as "creative, fearless, and forward-thinking, with a constant desire to learn."

Dania Zafar, 31, of Toronto, and Saniya Khan, 31, of Detroit, were childhood friends from Pakistan who were visiting Montreal for a brief one-day holiday. Zafar's father, Zafar Mahmood, said the two were scheduled to return to Toronto the day of the fire. Mahmood said his daughter "wanted to achieve so many things which will not be fulfilled now."

Zafar was self-employed and worked in publishing in Toronto and was in the process of getting her Canadian citizenship. 

Khan was a master’s student in public health at Wayne State University. “She was so accomplished. She was a doctor. She would volunteer her time at youth centres. She was a suicide hotline operator," friend Jonathan Clark recalled, describing the two women as "very young, very bright, beautiful, living life."

Camille Maheux, 76, a renowned photographer, had lived in the building for at least 30 years. Maheux's sister-in-law described her as very intelligent and curious. "She was able to talk about so many different subjects. She was an avid reader,'' Lorraine Doyon said. "It's very sad. We were very shocked to hear the news. My God. To die by fire? It's horrible."

Nathan Sears, 35, a political scientist from Toronto. He was listed as having taken part in the International Studies Association conference held in Montreal the same week of the fire. His family had circulated a missing person poster online in the aftermath of the blaze.

Charlie Lacroix, 18, is one of two people whose bodies have not been officially identified. She was trapped in the fire with a friend, whose identity has not been made public by their family. 

Lacroix, from the Montreal suburb of Terrebonne, had rented a unit in the building on Airbnb with the friend. Lacroix's father, Louis-Philippe Lacroix, said his daughter told 911 operators that she was trapped in a unit with no fire escape or windows. He said his daughter was someone who "had everything in front of her."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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