Deadly fire on Ontario St. in Montreal
Published Thursday, November 15, 2012 8:09AM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 16, 2012 8:21AM EST
Two people are dead and two more were hurt after a fire broke out in Montreal overnight.
Police say the victims are the 27th and 28th homicides of the year.
Police on patrol spotted flames coming from the third floor of an apartment building on Ontario St. near Joliette St. They tried to rush into the building but were forced back by heavy smoke on the first floor.
The fire quickly became a five-alarm blaze, bringing 100 firefighters to the building soon after midnight. They managed to extinguish the flames in about an hour.
While the fire was burning firefighters rescued two people from the upper floors. One was a man in his fifties suffered serious burns to the upper half of his body, while a 34-year-old woman was taken to hospital and treated for inhaling smoke.
Once the fire was out firefighters discovered the bodies of two people who have yet to be identified.
That brought the arson squad into the investigation, and now homicide investigators are taking over.
"Our investigators from the arson squad were able to determine this fire was deliberately set because some accelerants were found inside the building apartment," said Daniel Lacoursiere of the Montreal police department.
"That's exactly why this investigation was transferred to the major crime division. They will be assisted by the arson squad to determine exactly the circumstances of this fire."
Investigators spent the night and much of Thursday talking to witnesses.
Damage to all floors
Most of the damage to the building is to residences on the third floor, but it's not limited to the upper floors.
Water cascaded throughout the building, affecting other apartments and a ground floor business.
The St Vincent bar will have to temporarily close until the damage to their floor is cleaned up.
Owner Chen Zheng Mei was upset about people being killed in her building.
"It's terrible. The business just opened. We started the business ten months [ago]," she said.
Firefighters climb onto the roof of a burning building at 3561 Ontario St. E. in Montreal (Nov. 15, 2012)