One dead after fire sweeps through southwestern Montreal townhouse

MONTREAL — Authorities say they've found a body in the debris of a townhouse complex in southwestern Montreal.

Montreal police believe it is a 61-year-old woman reported missing after fire swept through the residential building late Tuesday in the city's LaSalle district.

An autopsy will be necessary to formally identify the victim.

Firefighters had feared the woman was unable to leave the building in time when the fire started at about 10:30 p.m.

Some of the 160 firefighters called to the scene evacuated neighbouring homes due to the risk of the fire spreading.

There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire, but police say at least three people were seen leaving the back of the building just before the fire spread.

Firefighters found evidence that suggests the fire may have been deliberately set.

The arson squad and major-crimes unit are investigating.

Evacuees were being cared for by the Red Cross.

The Canadian Press

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