MONTREAL - An explosion lit up the night sky in Snowdon Friday night, sending nearby residents running for their lives.

Sabrina Ochoa said she gathered her family, terrified as the blasts went off.

"The explosion happened and it shook the whole house," she said. "We started screaming a bit. My little girl was screaming, like 'Oh my gosh! What do we do?’ We grabbed the dog and got out."

The blaze broke out at the site of a former Esso station at 5405 Decarie Blvd, at the corner of Lacombe Ave. at around 10:30 p.m. The Esso station there was closed and undergoing construction.

Residents were evacuated from the area.

"We were very fortunate there were no injuries, no one was killed or anything," said nearby resident Bill Kirch.

Montreal police representative Jean-Pierre Brabant told CTV Montreal that the evacuations were preventative and were undertaken because of the potentially flammable nature of the property.

No nearby buildings were damaged and the fire was contained rather quickly.

There is an Ultramar gas station across the street, and the fire was also on the site of a closed gas station.

The fire was caused by propane tanks that were being used for portable heaters for construction workers. Firefighters said the blaze broke out due to a propane tank leak that was ignited by equipment used to heat the site.

A spokesperson for Imperial Oil Limited, which owns the site, said the company is fully cooperating with the fire department to further investigate and that's it's too soon to determine the exact cause of the fire.

Benoit Brouillard of the Montreal fire department echoed that sentiment.

"We don't know exactly. There may be some problem with the equipment of the constructor," he said.

Spokesperson Pius Rolheiser said the gas station has closed in October for redevelopment of its surface structures, as well as underground pipes.

Rolheiser confirmed the damage was contained to Imperial Oil's property, and that it was also contained to one building on their site and so far did not appear to have affected the underground pipes or gas pump.

Imperial Oil will also be conducting its own investigation.

Meantime, residents are just relieved the explosion didn't lead to any fatalities -- some wondering what could have been.

"A construction site with a lot of propane tanks and heating systems and no one there on the weekends," pondered nearby resident Thomas Cadieux. "I had never thought about it before but it's seems like an accident waiting to happen."