A fire caused about $500,000 in damage at a sixplex at 2640 – 2648 Ryde in Point St. Charles Saturday morning at 1:30 a.m. Lives were likely saved because the building was equipped with smoke detectors, according to firefighters.

The electrical fire started in the kitchen wall of a vacant third floor apartment and quickly spread to the roof and quickly damaged an adjacent building. The unit was under renovations at the time.

It appears that only two people lived in the building, as most of the units were uninhabited, some under going renovations. The building is owned by the first-floor tenants. Ten residents of a neighbouring building were also forced out for the time-being.

"They must be devastated because they've been working for months on this," said Margaret Levey, who lives in the area.

"It was a beautiful house and everybody on this street has been living here for a long long time. It's sad to see it burned down to a crisp," said one woman who lived in the building in the 1990s.

"It was just a little bit like: ‘boom!' said neighbour Henri Lalonde, who had trouble fleeing the scene. "I have sore legs, I couldn't run, I've got to take it easy,"

The neighbours that were displaced quickly managed to find accommodations with friends and relatives and did not require help from the Red Cross.

The four alarm blaze required about 23 trucks and 80 firefighters to extinguish. The flames were put out by about 5 a.m.