Montreal

Fire destroys Montérégie town's only shopping centre with Christmas three weeks away

Firefighters spent much of Friday night trying to control a blaze that swept through half-a-dozen businesses in Saint-Rémi's main, and only, shopping mall. No one was injured in the fire.

Authorities report no injuries in blaze that roared through several businesses

Firefighters work to douse a blaze at a strip mall in St-Rémi-de-Napierville, south of Montreal, early Saturday morning. No one was injured in the fire. (Stéphane Grégoire/Radio-Canada)

A major fire destroyed a strip mall in Saint-Rémi, a Montérégie town about 30 kilometres south of Montreal, early Saturday morning.

Fire crews from 15 municipalities converged on the scene of the blaze, which appears to have raced through as many as a half-dozen local businesses with Christmas fast approaching.

Neighbours first reported noticing smoke around 10:20 p.m. on Friday, and fire crews had to demolish part of the building to bring it under control.

"Right now we're looking for the last remaining hotspots, what you'd call the rubble. We're controlling the final vestiges of the fire," said Saint-Rémi fire Chief Jean-Michel Drouin.

The building was the town's only shopping centre. No one was injured in the fire. Investigators are on the scene in hopes of establishing a cause.

with files from Radio-Canada

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