Two suspicious blazes might be linked

Three days after Ste. Dorothée vineyard fire, owner’s office torched

By Robert Frank

Just after midnight, Nov. 12, police and firefighters were called to a blaze at the Château Taillefer-Lafon vineyard at 1500 Montée Champagne in Sainte Dorothée.

“An employee who remains on the premises throughout the night spotted flames emanating from the south side of an outbuilding at the small winery,” recalled Const. di Genova. “Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, however because the structure was clad in very dry wood, it suffered quite a bit of damage.”

“Police arson experts subsequently investigated the blaze and declared that it was criminally set,” he continued. “It started at the bottom of the wall and worked its way up rapidly.”

“Nothing on the inside of the building was damaged, and none of the reserves of wine was touched.”

Land speculation motive?

Then, at 2 a.m., Nov 15, police were called to a fire at 4008 St. Martin Boulevard which caused more than $150,000 in fire, smoke and water damage before it was extinguished.

The building housed the offices of Groupe Immobilier Taillefer. The company’s president, notary Jean-François Taillefer, also owns the vineyard that was set alight.

“Investigators have confirmed that this was also a criminally set fire,” Const. di Genova confirmed.

“They suspect that an accelerant—probably gasoline—was used,” he said. 

“A completely melted jerry-can was found at the scene and sent to the Sûreté du Québec crime laboratory for scientific analysis, as was the evidence found at the scene of the previous blaze.”

Though it might take four to six weeks to obtain the lab results, Const. di Genova affirmed that the investigation of both fires is proceeding apace.

Me. Taillefer subsequently told TVA News that the property is the object of land speculation and that speculators are not developing their properties in the hope that they will soon be rezoned.

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