4-alarm fire tears through vacant building in downtown Montreal

Firefighters can be seen on the roof of a building in downtown Montreal on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. Courtesy TVA

Smoke filled the downtown core Friday morning as a four-alarm fire ripped through a vacant building on Ste-Catherine Street East.

A spokesperson for the Montreal fire department said 105 firefighters and 31 vehicles responded to the blaze, which broke out at around 9:15 a.m.

“The fire spread quickly,” said firefighter William Murray, explaining there were a lot of holes in the walls and ceilings, which helped the blaze move through the three-storey building.

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The building had formerly been a mixed-use space with commercial space on the ground floor and apartments above.

While four connected apartment buildings were evacuated, Murray said there were no reports of injury.

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Where and how the fire started has yet to be determined, but Murray indicated it could be linked to possible squatters in the building.

“It has not been confirmed yet,” he said, adding the investigation into the cause of the blaze is being handed over to Montreal police.

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