Early morning fire closes part of St-Denis Street in the Plateau

Montreal firefighters are battling a four-alarm fire on the corner of St-Denis and Cherrier streets in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough.

Residents evacuated from nearby buildings

The fire started sometime after 4 a.m. Tuesday. (Mathieu Wagner/Radio-Canada)

Montreal firefighters are battling a four-alarm fire on the corner of St-Denis and Cherrier streets in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough. 

The fire broke out overnight in an apartment building with businesses on the ground floor. No injuries have been reported so far.

The building has been vacant for some time, but people living close by were asked to leave their apartments.

Plumes of smoke could be seen pouring out of the building. 

It's the second fire in the structure this year, after another caused damage in March.  

Montreal fire operations chief Ian Ritchie said the firefighters' work has been complicated by the fact they are not risking entering the building.

"The problem we have is — you know, in any building, there's rooms, there's hallways — we can't go in and put out the little fires in those hallways and rooms," Ritchie told CBC News. 

"So that's why it's taking us so long to get the fire under control."

Ritchie said the wind also made the work difficult.

The STM's metro service is back up and running in the area. For some time, metros weren't stopping at Sherbrooke station.

With files from CBC's Jay Turnbull