A closed paper mill and printing plant in Quebec that produced Canadian currency for decades suffered its fourth fire in two years Tuesday.
Maurice Marleau, director of the Beauharnois Fire Safety Service, told Soleil Chateauguay that the blaze all but guarantees that what is left of the old Spexel factory will be brought down.
“As we speak, perhaps by the end of the day, we will have no choice but to demolish it,” Marleau said.
The recent fires at the site have all been blamed on rampant vandalism at the site, he said.
Shortly after 3 a.m. firefighters responded when the latest flames was reported. They arrived to find fire widespread throughout the second floor of the five-story factory building.
Soon after the roof collapsed, forcing firefighters to rely on a ladder truck to get water to the flames, media reports state.
Built in 1912, what became the Spexel factory printed all of Canada’s paper currency for nearly 70 years. However, in 2002 the government transferred its contract to a German company because Spexel could not provide technology to deter modern counterfeiting.
Firefighters expect to be busy at the site for the next two days, Marleau said.