Three Montreal families will usher in the new year homeless as a fire ripped through a Saint-Leonard building.
The blaze began in the basement of the East-end building around 6 am and quickly spread to adjacent units.
It took 70 firefighters over an hour and half to contain the raging fire.
Fire department spokesman Francis Leduc says the large number of firemen on the scene is usual for this time of the year.
"It was a big fire but, especially in the winter, we don't take any chances. We make sure that we have a good rotation with our firefighters to make sure that they all get warmed-up."
The building was heavily damaged and will remain uninhabitable until the owner completes extensive renovations.
The cause of the fire has not yet been determined but firefighters do not suspect any criminal activity.
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