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Laval arson squad probes blaze at vineyard

Laval arson squad probes blaze at vineyard


MONTREAL — The Laval arson squad was called in early Monday to probe a suspicious overnight fire at the Château Taillefer-Lafon vineyard.

On Friday night, vineyard operator Jean-Claude Taillefer had appeared on a television show complaining that real-estate investors were buying up agricultural land in the area and leaving it fallow, as a prelude to rezoning requests for residential development.

The timing of the blaze, called in to firefighters at 12:05 a.m., appeared “bizarre,” Lieut. Michel Gagnon of Laval police said.

Gagnon noted that the investigative program that featured Taillefer, J.E. on the TVA network, had been broadcast Friday night.

Damage to a warehouse at Taillefer’s vineyard was considered “significant,” Gagnon said.

He said he could not provide a dollar estimate.

However, Gagnon noted, “it appears the fire started on the outside of the building.”

“For the time being, we can’t explain how the fire would begin,” he added.

“There have been zoning issues in the area for about two years,” Gagnon said.

Firefighters were hampered; with no municipal fire hydrants in the area, they had to truck in water.

The vineyard is at 1500 Montée Champagne, slightly west of Highway 13 and just north of where Highway 440 narrows to become des Bois Ave.

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Laval+arson+squad+probes+blaze+vineyard/7534524/story.html#ixzz2C2j5nJ77