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Lawsuits filed by building owner, victim's family in Old Montreal fire that killed 7


The owner of an Old Montreal building where seven people died in a fire last March is suing the city for $7.6 million.

Emile Benamor says the city's rules and regulations for heritage properties made it impossible to make some changes or repairs to the building.

Benamor also alleges firefighters did not deploy adequate resources to the March 16 fire and didn't listen to him when he told them minutes after the fire started that there were very likely people inside.

The owner is also suing city officials — including the mayor — for defamation for comments they made in the aftermath of the blaze.

Meanwhile, several reports say the family of Charlie Lacroix, an 18-year-old victim of the fire, filed a $1.5-million lawsuit Friday against Benamor, the City of Montreal and a man operating rentals out of the building.

Montreal police said in August the fire had turned into a criminal investigation after they had found traces of accelerant at the site.

In March, the father of victim Nathan Sears filed an application for a $22-million class-action lawsuit against Benamor, short-term rental platform Airbnb and the man who had been operating rentals out of the building.

None of the allegations in the lawsuits have been tested in court.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2023. Top Stories

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