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Police to investigate source of large building fire in downtown Montreal

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Montreal -

Over 100 Montreal firefighters were on the scene of a large downtown fire in an abandoned building Friday.

Officials are asking residents to avoid the intersection of Ste-Catherine Street E. and de la Visitation Street.

The fire began at around 9:20 a.m., possibly due to a “power failure” issue, according to a public advisory posted to social media. 

Smoke was visible from blocks away as the fire spread quickly through the building, which firefighters say was vacant, and had fallen into disrepair.

“There were a lot of holes inside the walls and ceiling,” said William Murray, Prevention Section Chief for the Montreal firefighters.

“We don’t know on which floor the fire started, but it spread quickly.”

Murray says the case will be handed to Montreal police to determine the source of the fire.

The building was empty when firefighters arrived, according to Murray, who said homeless people had been known to stay there.

Residents of neighbouring apartment buildings were evacuated as a precautionary measure. Officials were not immediately able to share how many people were affected.

There were no reported injuries. 

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