Fire in downtown apartment tower forces dozens of tenants into street

Dozens of downtowners were forced out onto the street in their pyjamas early this morning when a fire erupted in a store on the ground floor of an apartment tower.  

Montreal fire department operations chief Ian Ritchie says the call to 9-1-1 was received at 3:20 a.m. and firefighters declared the blaze under control about 25 minutes after they arrived at the corner of Atwater Avenue and de Maisonneuve Boulevard. 

"The fire started in the depanneur. It was found that its cause was a faulty power bar," he says.

Apartments on the first few floors above the depanneur were evacuated but residents living on upper floors were told to stay put, to keep them out of harm's way while firefighters went to work below.

The fire was short lived and caused no injuries, but it did $150,000 worth of damage to the building and the contents of the depanneur.