MONTREAL—A fire tore through a three-storey apartment building in St-Laurent early Sunday morning after a tenant forgot to turn off a stove, leading to the evacuation of 30 people from their homes.

According to the Montreal fire department, the flames started in a basement unit of the Decarie Blvd. building just after 4 a.m. Despite malfunctioning smoke detectors in the building, no injuries were reported.

Twelve families will be looking for a new place to live over the holidays, including that of Louis-Jean Rene and his wife.

“As the fire was put out, a lot of our apartment was damaged,” said Rene, who will be staying in a hotel.

Residents are not being allowed back into their homes and Sun Youth, along with the Canadian Red Cross, are relocating victims for the holidays—many of them young families.

“It’s so sad to lose everything you have, so close to Christmas. I hope they are all OK,” said neighbour Genvieve LaPalme.

Over 100 fire fighters were called in to battle the three-alarm fire, which caused upwards of $200,000 in damage.

While it is important to ensure that fire detectors are working year-round, the Montreal fire department is stressing the need to do so during the holidays.

“Make sure that you are safe at home,” said chief of operations Francis Leduc. “Don’t play with fires, make sure your electrical wires are safe and make sure your smoke detectors are working.”

The 12 families without a home will need to find a new place to live after the holidays are over.