Massive fire destroys buildings on Montreal Road, Alice Street

In this provided photo, flames tear through an eight-plex at 701 Montreal Road on Thursday, July 26, 2018. The fire spread to at least two neighbouring buildings and also caused damage to a couple of buildings across the street. (Kassandra Lynn via Newswatch Group)

Editor’s note: We will be updating this story throughout the night. Please check back for updated information and pictures. Follow us on Twitter @cwlnewswatch for updates as well.

CORNWALL – At least three buildings have been destroyed and one has collapsed after a massive fire Thursday night in the eastern section of Le Village.

Fortunately, there have been no reported injuries.

The inferno started after 6 p.m. where a multi-unit apartment building on the southeast corner of Alice Street and Montreal Road. The nine-unit complex at 701 Montreal Road was renovated after a fire at the same location in August 2016.

The building quickly turned into a ball of orange flame within minutes and then spread to neighbouring buildings – Poirier Furniture at 711 Montreal Road and a large brick two-storey apartment building on Alice Street.

Five hours after it started, a massive fire at Alice Street and Montreal Road still burns late in the evening on Thursday, July 26, 2018. Photo taken on Alice Street after 11 p.m. (Todd LeBlanc via Newswatch Group)
In this provided photo, flames tear through an eight-plex at 701 Montreal Road on Thursday, July 26, 2018. The fire spread to at least two neighbouring buildings and also caused damage to a couple of buildings across the street. (Kassandra Lynn via Newswatch Group)
In this supplied photo, a couple of firefighters take a break from battling a massive fire at the corner of Montreal Road and Alice Street on Thursday, July 26, 2018. (Nathan Guindon via Newswatch Group)
Flames leap from the rubble of 701 Montreal Road on Thursday, July 26, 2018 after a massive fire started around the supper hour. The flames quickly spread to a furniture store and another building. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
Flames dance along the roof of the Poirier Furniture building at 711 Montreal Road on Thursday, July 26, 2018. The fire appeared to start in a neighbouring eight-plex on the corner of Montreal Road and Alice Street before it spread to neighbouring structures. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

The fire was also hot enough to melt the siding on The Shack restaurant, across the street from the building, as well as another building on the west side of Alice Street behind The Shack.

By 8:30 p.m., firefighters were smashing the front windows of Poirier Furniture in order to get to the fire, while orange flames danced through the clouds of smoke in front of a rising moon.

Smoke from the structures could be seen several kilometers away and the spectacle drew hordes of people, many armed with cell phones capturing the moment.

A section of Montreal Road from McConnell Avenue east to Belmont Street is closed to traffic as well as access to the road from various side streets like Prince Arthur and Louisa Streets. The Cornwall Community Police Service and Cornwall Fire Services have both asked people to avoid the area around Alice Street and Montreal Road.

Cornwall-SDG Paramedic Services was also on scene as a precaution and the Cornwall Community Police Service was also controlling the area.

Firefighters were still battling the fire at 10:15 p.m.

This is a small example of the hundreds of people who lined area streets around Alice Street and Montreal Road, many armed with their cell phone cameras, to capture the destruction on Thursday, July 26, 2018. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
In this provided photo, plumes of smoke could be seen for several kilometers from a massive fire at the corner of Alice Street and Montreal Road on Thursday, July 26, 2018. The fire has consumed at least three buildings and damaged at least two more. Picture taken from Cotton Mill Lofts. (Alfred Kloos via Newswatch Group)
In this provided photo, a ball of flames shoots above the rooftop of a building on Montreal Road on Thursday, July 26, 2018, as seen from the corner of McConnell Avenue and Prince Albert Street. (Tammy Murphy via Newswatch Group)

Video courtesy Ray Junior

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