24/01/2014 05:48 GMT | Updated 24/01/2014 06:59 GMT

Canadian Old People's Home Is Entombed In Ice After Fatal Fire (PICTURES)

A fire has claimed the lives of at least five elderly residents at an old people’s home in the small town of L’Isle-Verte, in Quebec.

Around 30 more are still unaccounted for, following the blaze on Thursday, the Toronto Star reports.

Lt Guy Lapointe told CBC News the extreme cold – with the mercury plummeting to -20C – was complicating the search and rescue operation.

The majority of residents at the home were dependent on wheelchairs or walkers

The water used to put out the blaze has frozen over the site.

“Our first concern is the safety of the people working on the scene. Again, we have to do this very delicately for the deceased in there. We can’t just go in and break the ice,” Lt Lpointe said.

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Photo gallery Frozen House In L'Isle-Verte See Gallery