LONGUEUIL, Que. — An intense apartment fire near Montreal has left as many as 60 people homeless.
Investigators believe Monday night's fire started in a top-floor unit and was sparked by hot cooking oil left on a stove.
The blaze spread quickly through the four-storey structure, heavily damaging the two dozen units inside the building in Longueuil's Saint-Hubert sector.
No residents were injured, but Longueuil police spokeswoman Melanie Mercille said three firefighters and a police officer suffered minor injuries and were later discharged from hospital.
Local firefighters, who fought the blaze in a wind chill in -25 C temperatures, were helped by colleagues from Montreal and other nearby communities.
Some of the roughly 60 residents left homeless found shelter with family and friends while others were being assisted by the Canadian Red Cross.
Red Cross spokesman Carl Boisvert said 26 have been taken in by the aid organization and offered food, shelter and clothing for the next three days.
"Also moral support, because we know people affected by the disaster are upset," Boisvert said Tuesday. "So the volunteers were there to give them moral support and to answer their basic needs."
Boisvert said their situations will be reassessed in 72 hours and that that no one will end up on the street.
He said Red Cross volunteers have been increasingly in demand as the deep freeze following the holidays has coincided with a spate of blazes in different parts of the province.
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