'Ball of fire' rips through duplex in Pointe-aux-Trembles
Cause of fire not immediately clear, police investigating
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 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.
Neighbours say they heard a big boom at about a 12:45 this morning on 4e and Notre Dame. A duplex under construction is just ashes now. <a href="https://twitter.com/SPVM?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SPVM</a> arson squad will try to figure out how the fire started. <a href="https://t.co/vEcEkKFQju">pic.twitter.com/vEcEkKFQju</a>—@TurnbullJay
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