11/23/2016 12:27 EST | Updated 11/24/2017 00:12 EST

Montreal firefighters battle five-alarm blaze in vacant building near downtown

MONTREAL — Fire raced through an abandoned building in Montreal's Plateau neighbourhood on Wednesday, sending smoke billowing over downtown as firefighters struggled to contain the blaze.

No injuries were reported but fire officials said three families had to be evacuated.

Thick, black smoke was visible across downtown from the five-alarm fire on Parc Avenue, a popular commercial artery.

The vacant three-storey building was considered unstable, forcing firefighters to fight the blaze from outside.

Fire officials said the fire spread to a neighbouring building housing condominiums and a restaurant but they were able to limit the damage.

More than 120 firefighters were called to the scene and several nearby streets were temporarily closed.

By late Wednesday, the blaze was largely contained but several firefighters remained on the scene.