Police say the number of people missing has risen from six to seven after a massive fire ripped through a historic building in Old Montreal on Thursday.
Work to partially dismantle the building will begin Sunday morning, said police and fire officials in an address to the media Saturday night.
They believe victims will be found in the rubble.
The second and third floors of the 15-unit building on Place d’Youville will be torn down “stone by stone,” said Montreal fire operations chief Martin Guilbault.
Firefighters have not yet been able to enter the building due to safety concerns.
The partial demolition will be done slowly to protect the workers and preserve the building’s heritage, said Guilbault.
Montreal police arson commander Steve Belzil said it’s too soon to say whether the fire was criminal.
The owner of the building is cooperating with investigators, said Belzil.
FAMILIES FEAR THE WORST
One of the people missing is 18-year-old Charlie Lacroix from Terrebonne, just north of Montreal.
Her loved ones say she was staying with a friend in an Airbnb on the second floor.
“A friend of my daughter told us that she was there the night before, so we went to the police station and found out she had placed two calls at 911 in a period of three minutes saying that they couldn’t get out because they were no windows in the room,” her father Louis-Philippe Lacroix said.
“Hearing this news and having to break it to my boy and people is seriously the worst thing to go through as a parent,” Lacroix said.
On Saturday, friends and family of the teen gathered at the site of the fire, where a makeshift memorial has grown.