At around 5:15 PM on Wednesday July 3rd, a large fire in the parking lot of the Fairview Pointe-Claire shopping centre in the Montreal West Island consumed two cars and sent clouds of black smoke billowing into the air. The fire also damaged other surrounding vehicles.
A fire department spokesperson told MTLBlog correspondent Ariel Lefkowitz that 5 fire trucks and roughly 20 firefighters arrived on the scene to extinguish the blaze. No one was injured.
The cause of the fire has not yet been identified.
An eyewitness also tells MTLBlog that the fire produced a series of popping sounds and loud bangs. "It really sounded like the cars were gonna explode at any moment."
"Something that was really disconcerting was that the fire was only about 50 or 60 feet from the front doors of the mall [...] There were 100 people lined up at these doors and windows filming and watching," he continues.
Watch the MTLBlog video below for footage of the flames and more information:
This video makes use of footage sent to MTLBlog by Jarred Kotler.
A Montreal mechanic told Ariel Lefkowitz that a leak in the gas manifold may have been responsible for the fire. "When the oil drips on to the engine block it instantly catches on fire. That is a possibility with these vehicles."
"Though without seeing the vehicle itself I cannot tell you for sure if that is exactly the cause," the mechanic concluded.
This is not the first incident involving a car fire in Montreal. In April, flames swallowed another vehicle at a gas station near the Lionel-Groulx metro station and Atwater Market in the neighbourhood of St-Henri.
You can watch a video of that incident below:
Just one week earlier, another car caught fire on the autoroute 40 near the same Fairview shopping centre.
The cause of the latest fire is under investigation.
Stay tuned for updates.