Major fire in industrial building on Marie-Victorin in Longueuil
Published Monday, August 22, 2016 11:42AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 22, 2016 7:10PM EDT
Firefighters managed to fight a blaze in a vacant industrial building in Longueuil Monday that sent thick black smoke billowing into the air.
Firefighters rushed to the scene to fight the four-alarm fire that broke out around 10 a.m. on Marie-Victorin Blvd. east of Rolland-Therrien Blvd.
Longueuil’s fire department spokesperson Jean-Guy Ranger said this fire was very difficult to extinguish and has called in every firefighter the service has – including those who are off or on vacation. About 60 to 70 firefighters were sent to the scene.
"It's a big fire, it's a big surface building, so it's hard to put it out, because it's very wide inside, and we can't go inside when it's burning like that," said Ranger.
The large industrial space was empty of people but full of wood – it was a factory that prepared and packaged wood flooring before being sold. The fire started in the hangar at the back of the building before it spread, but it is so far unclear what sparked it.
The large amount of wood has made it a dangerous and difficult fire for firefighters to battle. They are attempting to tear it down a little at a time with the help of a large mechanical shovel.
Firefighters have to be cautious about where they walk and move as the building shifts and is demolished.
Ranger said, though, that got a handle on the fire after about two hours. The asphalt roof took 90 minutes to burn off, causing the thick, black plume of smoke that could be seen from a great distance away.
Firefighters asked people living near the facility to close their windows to prevent smoke from entering. Some people left their homes of their own accord, but no evacuation orders were put in place for nearby residences.
No one was injured.