Montreal mansion of Pornhub owner destroyed in criminal fire
Home listed at $19M belongs to Feras Antoon, one of the owners of the pornography site
A mansion under construction in Montreal's Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough was the target of an arson attack Sunday night, leading to a fire that ripped through the new build.
The home is listed for sale at more than $19 million and belongs to Feras Antoon, one of the owners of MindGeek, the Montreal-based company known for running pornography website Pornhub.
It has 21 rooms, nine garages, seven bathrooms and four powder rooms.
The property has made headlines before — when Antoon purchased it for $2 million and had 220 trees cut to build his home.
Police say they received a call at 11:30 p.m. Sunday about the presence of two people who had trespassed onto the Jean-Bourdon Avenue property.
When officers arrived, the home was on fire. The flames spread from the home's main building — which is still on fire — to another one next to it.
Neighbouring homes were evacuated as a preventive measure, but firefighters say no one was injured.
Montreal police say investigators will analyze what remains of the building to determine what happened.
Mireille Marouf lives nearby and told CBC she first became aware of the blaze when police officers knocked on her door around midnight.
"We looked out the window and we saw fire," she said. "We saw lots of police, firefighters, hoses in the road — things you see in movies."
She spent the night in a hotel after police asked her to leave her home as a precaution.
Peter Berlemis, who has lived in the area for 14 years, also spent the night away from home.
After being warned by firefighters to evacuate, Berlemis went to his daughter's house.
"I left in my pyjamas," he told CBC.
Berlemis described the fire as intense, saying "the flames were like 50 metres high."
He said he was concerned that the fire might spread over to his property.
"I have some damages. But at least the whole body of the house is here."
With files from Radio-Canada, CBC's Shuyee Lee