October 27, 2018 1:53 pm

3-alarm fire forces evacuation of 20 people in Côte-des-Neiges-NDG

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Montreal Fire Department
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Several units in an apartment building in Montreal’s Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough were damaged by a three-alarm fire Saturday morning, forcing 20 people onto the street, including occupants from a neighbouring building.

“I woke up and then I saw some smoke from the balcony, then I heard a police officer knock on the door and he was screaming: ‘Everyone has to go, everyone come out,'” Sarah Sakouti, a woman living in the building next door, told Global News.

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“I got really scared. Actually, my husband fell out of bed because I panicked. I really panicked.”

Sakouti said she woke her husband up, and when they stepped out, they saw flames and smoke coming from the building next door.

Montreal firefighters said the fire broke out around 8 a.m. on the third floor of the building, located on Queen Mary Road.

Eighty firefighters responded to the call to control the flames.

According to Montreal fire Chief David Shelton, the fire started accidentally.

“The occupant was apparently burning incense, left the incense unattended, may have fallen asleep and was awakened by the heat,” Shelton explained.

Shelton added the occupant of the apartment where the fire started suffered minor injuries.

Firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading to neighbouring buildings but several apartment units were damaged in the building where the fire started.

“The fire spread throughout the entire roof so we had to make several openings and we had to use a good deal of water. That water would’ve caused the damage on different floors,” Shelton told Global News.

The fire chief took the opportunity to remind people to avoid dangerous situations.

“It’s a good lesson for us to take, with the winter season coming and space heaters that are also supposed to not be left unattended. This is the kind of thing that can result from that,” he said.

—With files from Phil Carpenter

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

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