1 dead in fire at Villeray seniors' residence

One person is dead following a four-alarm fire at a seniors' residence in Villeray. A second person was also treated for smoke inhalation.

Residence, run by the city, was not equipped with a sprinkler system

The fire at 1000 Villeray Street broke out on the third floor of the building. (Matt D'Amours/CBC)

One person is dead following a four-alarm fire at a seniors' residence in Villeray that was not equipped with a sprinkler system. 

The fire broke out early Monday afternoon. Firefighters believe it started in a unit on the third floor, which is where the lifeless body was found. 

Several residents were trapped on their balconies and had to be rescued with portable ladders, the fire department said.

An 81-year-old woman was taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, along with two other residents who were placed under observation. 

The cause of the blaze is still unknown.

The residents of the seniors' home took part in a fire drill last month. (CBC)

The five-storey building, located between Boyer Street and Christophe-Colomb Avenue, houses a municipal-run residence for roughly 95 seniors, including some with limited mobility. It was built in 1985.

A spokesperson for the fire department said the building's date of construction meant it was not required to have a sprinkler system. 

Around 100 firefighters were called to the scene. 

Fire operations chief Sylvain Legros said the building had a fire detection system which alerted firefighters. They were at the blaze within five minutes, he said. 

Residents heading to temporary shelter

A shelter has been set up for the displaced residents at Patro Le Prevost, a nearby community centre, said Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension borough mayor, Anie Samson.

"We have to check with the fire department to see how safe it is, if people can stay [there] tonight," she said. 

Samson said there was extensive water damage to one hallway, but some parts of the building seem to have been spared.