MONTREAL -- A four-alarm fire sent smoke billowing into downtown Montreal Thursday afternoon.

The fire broke out at 1:50 p.m. in a three-storey residential building at 1275 St-Andre Street between Rene-Levesque Blvd. E and Ste-Catherine St. E. in the Gay Village. The Montreal fire department said the fire began after someone put out a cigarette in a garbage bin on the terrasse and it spread to the roof.

The fire in that building was mainly contained to the roof but embers did spread the flames to the neighbouring building, a rooming house. Twenty people in total were forced out because of the fire.

The Hotel Saint-Andre, which is currently being used to shelter homeless people during the pandemic, was also evacuated as a precaution.

Some 80 firefighters were on scene working to control the blaze. As of 4:30 p.m., the fire was under control, and by 7:45 the fire department said its work on the site was done.

"The air is thick with the smell of burned electronics. Firefighters have multiple hoses focused on the site," said Sofia Misenheimer, a weekend news anchor at CJAD News 800.

One person suffered smoke inhalation and was sent to hospital and that person’s condition is now considered stable.


With files from CTV News Montreal's Max Harrold.