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Major fire in downtown Montreal lays waste to vacant building

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A three-storey building at the corner of De La Montagne St. and St. Antoine St. went up in flames Tuesday, drawing 90 firefighters in a major response.

The building had been vacant for years, said Matthew Griffith of the Montreal fire department.

Smaller neighbouring buildings were also vacant and "abandoned," he said, boarded up, so there was no need to evacuated anyone during the three-alarm response. The other buildings weren't damaged in the end.

The corner is, however, in a relatively busy part of town, close to the Bell Centre and the Lucien-L'Allier metro stop.

The building that caught fire is at 1300 St. Antoine, and it used to be mixed commercial-residential, Griffith said.

The fire started on the third floor and the cause is still unknown.

Firefighters were just wrapping up their first job, containing the blaze, as of about 5 p.m. on Tuesday, and investigators were slated to go in as soon as it was safe to begin to look at the cause, Griffith said.

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