Place Montreal Trust open on Saturday, a day after five-alarm fire
Published Friday, July 13, 2018 5:15PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 14, 2018 10:33AM EDT
One day after a five-alarm fire sent flames shooting into the sky from the roof of the tower behind Place Montreal Trust, the shopping mall will be open.
A spokesperson for Place Montreal Trust confirmed the mall would be open for regular business hours.
The fire began on Friday afternoon on the roof of the 30-storey building on the corner of McGill College Ave. and Ste. Catherine St. in downtown.
Thick black smoke was seen billowing from the roof of the BellMedia building at 1800 McGill College Ave. as of 4:30 p.m.
Fire operations chief Francis Leduc said two roofers who were working on the building were taken to hospital and four more were treated at the scene.
The height of the building made the operation difficult – firefighters had to climb the 30 flights of stairs to reach the blaze.
“The main problem we had was to reach the fire. It was on the 30th floor. It was very exhausting for us,” said Leduc.
All the workers in the building were also forced out via the stairs.
“We evacuated the building right away, but the ventilation system being on the roof, the building itself became full of smoke so it made it a bit tougher to get the people out and it’s even tougher for us to go. It’s a 30-story building so we have to go by the staircase and come down,” he said.
Leduc said the building and all of Place Montreal Trust were evacuated. As many as 200 firefighters were at the scene.
The Montreal fire department and police were asking people to avoid the area. The McGill metro station exit at 811 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West was also closed to the public, though the metro continued to run normally.
The cause is still unknown, but firefighters say they don't believe it was criminal.
“It's going to be under investigation. Like I said before, we had six workers on the roof. Two of them were treated at the hospital for small injuries,” said Leduc.
Officials from Place Montreal Trust could not say if they will be able to open on Saturday, saying they "remain in communication with the authorities to determine if we can reopen normally tomorrow."
The Montreal fire department and police asked people to avoid the area. The McGill metro station exit at 811 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West was also closed to the public during the blaze, though the metro continued to run normally.
It was the first of two major fires in the downtown area. Hours later, the library of a McGill medical building also became engulfed in flames.