Le Devoir building burns

A fire started around 17:45 in the building on Berri near Ste-Catherine where Le Devoir’s HQ is located, and the latest on their website is that everyone was safely evacuated, although editor Brian Myles has tweeted that there’s serious damage. I hope they’ve kept offsite backups.

Update: Twitter says firefighters say the spark came from a cigarette dropped into a flowerpot on the roof of the building. That dried-out peat moss is dangerous stuff: burning butts dropped into flowerpots have caused several fires in recent years.

Further update: The CP story says Le Devoir workers left the building when they smelled smoke, no alarm having gone off. A tweet I saw said the sprinklers didn’t go off either on the 8th and 9th floors where the newspaper offices are, which is good in one way, bad in another.

Another tweet says the paper went to press anyway, its crew having gone to a pre-planned emergency location. Le Devoir says they’ve had calls from other news media outfits offering to share facilities until their premises are fit to use again.