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City pays millions for firefighter-caused blaze

While battling a warehouse fire, crews set off a second blaze that caused significant damage

By FireRescue1 Staff

MONTREAL — A Montreal suburb was fined $3.7 million after a judge declared firefighters made a warehouse fire worse by setting a second blaze.

120 firefighters responded to the September 2004 fire, which had broken out in the storage room of a foam plant, and used a chainsaw to cut a hole in the plant's ceiling across the hall from where the fire was spreading, according to the Sun News Network.

The sparks from the chainsaw ignited nearby polymers used in making Styrofoam, which caused another fire.

The resulting second blaze along with the first fire took firefighter 11 hours to extinguish, leaving significant damage to the warehouse.

Insurer's blamed the Laval Fire Department for its mistake and had sued for $9 million.

A judge agreed that the firefighters worsened the fire by using the chainsaw.

The city has not decided if it will appeal the decision.

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