NEWS

Huge fire in Montreal's east end ruled accidental

12/02/2012 10:48 EST | Updated 02/01/2013 05:12 EST
Montreal's fire department has said the cause of a fire that engulfed a heating oil business on Bossuet Street in Montreal's east end on Friday was accidental.

Bouthillier-Rioux Inc., a family-owned company, is surrounded by residences.

Robert Dubé, operations chief for the Montreal Fire Department, confirmed that firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to any nearby homes.

Despite that, some neighbours are saying the industrial building should not have been located in the middle of a residential area.

Sylvain Vaillancourt, the firm's owner, said the company has been at the Bossuet Street location for more than 20 years.

He said that for most of that time, the area was industrial. It's only recently that families started to move into the neighbourhood, he said.

"These condos are there for a year. It used to be commercial all the way," Vaillancourt said.

100 firefighters battle flames

Vaillancourt was vacationing in Mexico on Friday when he learned that his building was on fire.

He came home to see all that was left of the company that his grandfather started — a set of concrete stairs.

It took more than 100 firefighters 10 hours to get the huge fire under control.

Vaillancourt said he will try to find a way to revive the business, which has been in his family since 1925.

"We have to do it pretty fast," he said, adding that this is the busy season for the home heating oil business. "We're starting our rush right now."

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