March 11, 2018 2:14 pm
Updated: March 11, 2018 6:00 pm

130 firefighters take on St. Denis street fire

WATCH ABOVE: More than 130 firefighters responded to the five-alarm call at Universel restaurant in Montreal. As Global's Billy Shields reports, the fire gutted the restaurant and left 10 people without a home.


A major fire gutted a restaurant on St. Denis street Sunday morning.

More than 130 firefighters responded to the five-alarm call at around 6:45 a.m. at Universel restaurant in Montreal.

The fire broke out in the restaurant’s cellar, then spread through the pipes forcing 10 people out of the apartments built above.

No one was injured.

Firefighters managed to control the fire seven hours later.

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“It was a very difficult fire,” said John Primiani, Chief of Operations at Montreal’s Fire Department.

“We did at least two changing of shifts because the guys were completely exhausted.”

Primiani explained the building was old and had several renovations over the years, adding multiple layers and divisions that firefighters had to work through and break.

“There were also ventilation problems.  Firefighters had to make holes in the first floor to let smoke out so they could go inside.”

An investigator is on the ground trying to determine the cause of the fire, but according to Primiani, so far nothing points to criminal activity.

“It got a beating that’s for sure. It’s a total loss. We’ve been shooting water at it for at least 5 hours.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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