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Montreal police are looking for at least 6 people after a fire

According to the police, six people are still missing after the major fire that ravaged a historic building in Old Montreal on March 16.

One such person is 18-year-old Charlie Lacroix from Terrebonne, just north of Montreal.

“A friend of my daughter’s told us she had been there the night before so we went to the police station and found she had made two calls to 911 within three minutes saying they couldn’t get out because ‘they were no windows in the bedroom,’ said his father Louis-Philippe Lacroix.

Lacroix will be at the scene of the fire on Saturday to try to find some healing and move on.

“Hearing this news and having to break it to my boy and to people is truly the worst thing going through as a parent,” Lacroix said.

Another of the missing persons is 75-year-old photographer Camille Maheux, who lived in the building for 30 years.

People have started laying flowers outside the building where a major fire broke out on March 16, 2023. Six people are still missing and authorities fear their bodies are in the rubble. (Olivia O’Malley/CTV News)

Lacroix said authorities have not found her daughter’s body, but members of the Montreal Fire Department (SSIM) and Montreal Police (SPVM) arson squad held a conference to press on Saturday morning and confirmed there were at least six people missing and they may be in the building.

“The information validated in recent hours, from various sources, suggests that there could be victims inside the rubble,” said SIM captain Martin Guilbault.

Guilbault said authorities still don’t know where or how the fire started, and that an analysis is still ongoing at the 15-unit building in Place d’Youville.


Some of the apartments were Airbnb units.

Montreal city bylaws require building owners to acquire a classification certificate for short-term rentals like Airbnb.

Montreal City Councilor Alain Vaillancourt is responsible for public safety, and he said no certificate had been issued for the building in question.

“There is only a certain area here in Ville Marie where you can have Airbnbs on Sainte Catherine [Street]; it’s not one,” Vaillancourt said. “Ville Marie has never received a permit request for an Airbnb here, and there have never been any complaints about an Airbnb in this building.”

Nine people were taken to hospital after the fire.

Two of the nine injured people are still hospitalized at the Burns Center of the University of Montreal Hospital Center (CHUM), said Steve Belzil, the SPVM arson commander.

With files from The Canadian Press.

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