Firefighters put out Montreal heritage building fire over 24 hours after it ignited

Heritage building burns

Montreal fire department says a fire that swept through a heritage property in the city's downtown core was brought under control today, more than 24 hours after it began.

The fire broke out late Thursday afternoon at the Monastère du Bon Pasteur, a 19th century former monastery, and quickly became a five-alarm blaze requiring the intervention of 150 firefighters.

They spent more than 24 hours battling the fire, which was difficult to tame because of the construction and materials used in the building.

An investigation into the cause is set to begin on Monday and the full extent of the damage is unknown.

Firefighters are still on site today to ensure a new fire doesn't start, and authorities are also inspecting the building to see whether it is safe to enter.

The monastery was built in 1846 and maintained its religious vocation until the 1960s. Quebec officially recognized It as a heritage site in 1979 and it now serves as a mixed use building that includes a residence for seniors, a housing cooperative, a daycare centre and condominiums.

The chapel, located in the centre of the complex, is now a concert hall and the city calls it one of its most prestigious venues, known for exceptional acoustics in a historic and intimate atmosphere.

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