‘It’s a total loss’ – Suspected arson in a night fire on Ste-Catherine St.

105 firefighters and 31 vehicles fought the blaze, which left the building abandoned with extensive damage.

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Arson is suspected in a four-alarm fire that destroyed an empty building at 690 Ste-Catherine St. W. between McGill College Ave. and Robert-Bourassa Blvd. overnight Saturday through Sunday.

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A total of 105 firefighters and 31 vehicles battled the blaze, which was reported at 11:40 p.m. and quickly spread to the roof, said William Murray, prevention section chief for the Montreal fire department.

The building suffered extensive fire and smoke damage, he said.

“It’s a total loss, for sure,” Murray said.

The three-story building was previously occupied by Zesto Resto Bar & Grill, now closed. The former Super Sexe Club next door at 696 Ste-Catherine was also damaged, he said.

The old Super Sexe club in Montreal, on February 24, 2015.
The old Super Sexe club in Montreal, on February 24, 2015. Photo by Dave Sidaway /Montreal Gazette

The fire department has referred the investigation to the Montreal police arson squad. There was no electricity in the building, and the speed with which the fire spread led firefighters to suspect arson, Murray said.

in a cheep Glenn Castanheira, executive director of Montreal center-ville, denounced the authorities for not forcing the owners of vacant buildings to maintain them.

“Furious… we have been sounding the alarms for the authorities for months to force the maintenance of buildings abandoned by speculators. It is unacceptable that this practice is tolerated on the largest commercial artery in the country, ”he wrote.

“History repeats itself,” he added.


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