From the Stronach Photo Files


From the Stronach Photo Files is a new addition to the Firebuff-Montreal/ website and will showcase the fireground photographs of Ian Stronach.  From 1971 to 2000 Ian took thousands of photographs of fires and fire apparatus in Montreal, the surrounding areas and wherever around the world his work travels took him as the Manager of Fire Protection for Alcan Aluminum, the global aluminum company based in Montreal.  Ian also was the Canadian Correspondent for Firehouse Magazine from the 1982 to 1995.  Every two weeks From the Stronach Photo Files will present a new series of photographs of a major fire.    All photographs are copyrighted

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Last updated October 23, 2016


Montreal, 06 April 1996 – 4th alarm; Box 3-1376 (Coursol & Atwater); fire involved two, three-storey row houses in the St. Henri district of the city.  There had been a second alarm in one of the buildings 18 hours earlier.



Montreal, 19 November 1993 – 5th alarm plus 3 pumps & 3 ladders; Box 3-2221 (Mullins & Charlevoix); fire spread from the rear to fully involve the four storey, 300 ft. long factory building in the Point St. Charles district of the city.  




Montreal, 27 November 1993 – 5th alarm plus 3 pumps & 3 ladders; Box 3-1198 (Brennan & Ann); fully involved, one storey hardware warehouse dating from the 19th century in the Griffintown district of the city.







Montreal, January, 1980 – 3rd alarm and February 9th, 1992 – 5th alarm; Box 3-2521 (St. Ambroise & Sir Georges Etienne Cartier Est); the long standing Dominion Elevator Limited (later Coopérative Federée Quebec) flour mill on the north bank of the Lachine Canal was the site of massive dust explosion in January 1980 that severely damaged the concrete silos and broke every window in the six storey mill building.  The force of the explosion ripped apart the 2 foot thick concrete silos and toppled over 100 ton railway cars.  After the explosion the damaged silos were demolished.  The mill reopened twelve years later on February 9th, 1992 first due companies arrived to find the mill fully involved.  The building collapsed during the fire and by the next morning the flour mill was gone.




After the dust explosion Rebuilt after the explosion  



Montreal, November 4th, 1995.  5th alarm + specials; Box 2-1142 (Notre Dame & Gosford); Notre Dame Street East & Gosford; 4 storey vacant commercial building with a severe exposure on the south side to the Montreal Police Department 911 Call Centre.   The radiant heat broke sixty windows on all five floors of the building.  Numerous hose lines were deployed inside the 911 Centre.  All 911 operations were transferred to the back-up site during the fire and remained there for a number of weeks until the main 911 Centre was repaired.







Montreal, February 16th, 1992.  5th alarm + 10 engines, 5 ladders & 2 manpower squads; Box 3-1126 (Notre Dame & St. Sulpice); 451 St. Sulpice Street; 4 storey commercial with severe exposures on four sides; Notre Dame Bassilica (Montreal’s most historic church) on the west, 5 storey condominiums on the south, 5 storey commercial on the east and 4 & 5 storey commercial on the north.  The fire, in a sprinklered building, was deliberately set and the sprinkler system water supply turned off.  There was a severe problem with flying brands but the 8 inches of snow that had fallen just before the fire slowed down responding apparatus but covered the roofs, preventing fire spread to many other buildings.






Montreal, September 30th, 1985.  5th alarm + 6 engines & 3 ladders; Box 3-1322 (de Vitré & Jeanne Mance); 1001 Jeanne-Mance Street; 5 storey vacant commercial with severe exposure to Montreal Convention Centre. The aerial shot was taken by Rick Leckner who was at the time the dean of the helicopter traffic reporters in Montreal. Rick got his start in the media covering fires for local radio stations, both on the ground and in the air. He is a fellow firebuff and advisor to the Montreal Fire Department.






Montreal, November 1982. 5th alarm; Box 2-1165 (de La Gauchetière & Sanguinet); 440 de La Gauchetière Street East, 3 storey rooming house, 8 dead.






Montreal, May 9th, 1984.  5th alarm + 2 engines;  Box 2-1151 (de Vitré & Saint-Laurent); 978 St. Laurent Blvd; 4 storey vacant residential.






Montreal, June 3rd, 1984.  5th alarm + 4 engines & 2 ladders; Box 2-1736 (Masson & de Lorimier); 2055 Masson Street, 3 storey industrial  




Montreal, April 16th, 1982.  5th  alarm,  Box 3-1164 (William & McGill); 90-92 McGill Street; commercial  




Montreal, June 10th, 1982.  5th alarm + 4 engines and 2 ladders, Box 2-1511 (Roy & St. André); St. André Street at Roy Street; residential.





Montreal, May 15th, 1981. 5th alarm, Box 3-1156 (des Recollets & Ste. Helene); 444-446 St. Pierre Street, 7 storey commercial; three firefighters killed in building collapse.  Two of the firefighters who died were buried under the pile of rubble next to the “No Parking” sign in the right of the first photo the morning after.  I had been standing 10 feet away from them and worked on their extrication and transport to hospital.






 Montreal, December 24th , 1971. 2nd alarm, Box 3-1281 (Notre Dame & Dominion); 2350 Notre Dame Street West, Lido Theatre.  This is not a spectacular fire but for apparatus buffs, with the 1954 Seagrave 75th Anniversary pumper, the Fargo hose wagon  and the 1956 GMC tractor on the Seagrave aerial, the photos could have been taken in the mid-1950’s.  These were my first slides of a Montreal fire some 40 years ago.  





Montreal, May, 1972.  3rd alarm,  Box 3-1272 (Notre Dame & Canning); 528 des Seigneurs Street; residential.





Montreal, April 24th, 1977.  5th alarm Box 2-1442 (Duluth & St. Laurent); 4108 St. Laurent Blvd.; commercial building spread to lumber yard.





The massive Louis-Hippolyte-Lafontaine Psychiatric Hospital, built in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s in the east end of Montreal, was the scene of three very large fires in its history; 1935, 1976 and 1977.  The last and largest one involved a number of interconnected buildings housing many patients.  Serious water supply problems required the MFD to send 36 of its 48 engine companies to the scene  


Montreal, November 27th, 1976.  5th alarm + 3 engines and 2 ladders Box 2-3233 (St. Jean de Dieu Hospital); 7401 Hochelaga Street; utilities building at Louis-Hippolyte-Lafontaine Psychiatric Hospital. 



Montreal, July 13th, 1977.  5th alarm + 23 engines (total of 36) Box 2-3233 (St. Jean de Dieu Hospital); 7401 Hochelaga Street; patient pavilions at Louis-Hippolyte-Lafontaine Psychiatric Hospital.




Montreal, October 29th, 1978.  5th alarm plus three engines and two ladders, Box 2-2123 (Notre Dame and Darling); 3336 Notre Dame Street East, Seaway Storage warehouse, previously the Dominion Textile Company Hochelaga Branch mill.  



Montreal, June 18th, 1978.  7th alarm = 5th alarm Box 2-2265 (2107 de La Salle) + 2nd alarm Box 2-2267 (Ontario and Letourneux); 2107 de La Salle Street, vacant Atlas Bedding Company factory, fire spread to homes at the rear on Letourneux Street.  


Montreal, May 18, 1974 - 3rd alarm, Box 3-1273 Delisle and Canning, 607 Chatham Street, rooming house, 4 dead.  



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