A fire broke out on Feb. 10 in an upper floor of the Royal Victoria College (RVC) residence and firefighters were called to the scene just after 11:00 a.m. The fire was contained and extinguished shortly after arrival, according to Montreal fire department Chief Gordon Routley.
“There was a fire at the very highest part of the attic of Royal Victoria College,” Routley said at the scene. “[It] seems to be confined to a very small area there. We don’t really know what started it, but we got into the void space and found the fire. It seems to be under control now.”
McGill Food and Dining Services Director Mathieu Laperle explained that the fire mostly affected the West Wing of RVC.
“There was extensive damage to the West Wing roof, a section of which has been dismantled,” Laperle said. “There remains no information about the cause of the fire.”
“[The fire was] not very big,” Routley said. “They were able to extinguish it when they found where the fire was—only took a couple minutes once they got water on it. There weren’t a lot of people […] inside the building when we arrived, and they were coming out. [The students] were evacuated when we got here. McGill’s taking care of them.”
Laperle added students would be relocated for the night to evo, a privately-run student residence on Sherbrooke.
“Many of them will be allowed into the West Wing to recover their belongings,” he said the day of the fire. “The 81 students who live in the West Wing will be relocated at evo tonight. We don’t know how long students will be out of RVC.
Mehar Gujral, U1 Arts and resident of RVC’s West Wing, explained that most RVC residents will be staying at evo Sherbrooke until this Friday.
“We’ve been living in evo since Tuesday,” Gujral said. “After this Friday, floors one, two, [and] three will be allowed to move back. Floors four and five will be permanently relocated to other McGill residences.”
Gujral continued to explain that the extent of damage varied throughout the residence.
“[For] my room, it was mostly water damage that was sustained, because the fire didn’t actually reach our rooms,” she said. “But some of the other rooms sustained greater damage in terms of holes in the ceiling […The construction workers] completely sealed off the fifth floor and part of the fourth floor for renovation.”
According to Laperle, costs for repairing the damages incurred from the fire are still unknown.
“It’s too early to come up with a figure,” he said.