© Reuters. Firefighters watch as investigators inspect a three-story heritage building in Old Montreal where a fire broke out last week leaving seven people missing, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada March 19, 2023. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
MONTREAL (Reuters) – Police and firefighters across Canada said they were preparing to search the rubble of a Montreal heritage building on Sunday for seven missing people believed to have been trapped after flames engulfed the site last week.
Flowers were left in a courtyard at the beige stone building in historic Old Montreal as workers took steps to secure the three-story structure that remained inaccessible to firefighters and police Sunday morning.
It took more than 100 firefighters to contain the fire in the building, which broke out Thursday morning and injured several people, said Marie-Eve Beausoleil, spokesperson for the Montreal Fire Department.
The cause of the fire is unknown.
Montreal police spokesman Jean-Pierre Brabant said investigators had reason to believe there were victims inside.
The building’s apartments were used by both long-term residents and guests staying there short-term after booking homes through Airbnb, Beausoleil said Saturday.