'Ball of fire' rips through duplex in Pointe-aux-Trembles

A fire so intense it melted the tail lights and bumpers of nearby cars engulfed a Pointe-aux-Trembles duplex overnight, before spreading to the dépanneur and apartment next door.

Cause of fire not immediately clear, police investigating

An overnight fire in Pointe-aux-Trembles spread to a neighbouring building. Montreal police are investigating. (Alain Beland/Radio-Canada)

A fire so intense it melted the tail lights and bumpers of nearby cars engulfed a Pointe-aux-Trembles duplex overnight, before spreading to the dépanneur and apartment next door. 

Montreal police were called to investigate, with the cause of the fire still unknown.

A family of four living in the apartment was forced from their home, though no one was injured.

It started shortly before 1 a.m. and some residents in the area reported hearing an explosion, then seeing a ball of fire swallow the duplex. 

"I saw that the fire was really extreme. It started right away with a violent intensity," said Fernand Ferron, who lives in the building behind the structure that caught fire. 

"It was a big, big ball of fire."

The cause of the fire is not yet clear, Montreal police say. (Alain Beland/Radio-Canada)

The lights on Ferron's car were damaged, too, though they did not melt. 

The fire began in a building under construction on Notre-Dame Street near Fourth Avenue. A pit of blackened wood planks was all that was left behind.

About 80 firefighters were called to the scene. The arson squad arrived at around 7:40 a.m.

Hundreds of homes were without power in the area as a result, but Hydro-Québec says it was restoring electricity earlier this morning.

With files from Jay Turnbull