Montreal — A five-alarm fire in east end Montreal that destroyed a condominium complex under construction has been deemed suspicious by fire officials.

The blaze broke out shortly before 6 a.m. and fire crews brought it under control about two hours later.

The investigation was transferred to police mid-morning.


“The arson squad is on the case,” said Montreal police spokesman Olivier Lapointe.

“Not because something was found that shows clearly it was criminal but because the firefighters weren’t able to find anything to show it was accidental. Right now, we can say it’s a suspicious fire and it’s our work to find the cause.”

The fire broke out in one building on the south east corner of the development and quickly spread, destroying over 100 units.

“When the first (fire) engines arrived on the scene there were three buildings burning,” said Montreal Fire Department operations chief Jean Leblanc.

“Now six of them are fully burned. They were buildings under construction so there was a lot of wood and nothing to stop the fire from spreading from one building to the other.”

Over 100 firefighters battled the blaze, which caused a number of residential streets in the area to be closed briefly.

No injuries are reported. The units were unoccupied at the time.

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