Montreal Oratory says no fire or noise reported, believes social media video is fake

MONTREAL — A Montreal church says it believes a video appearing to show a fire on its front steps is completely fake.

Danielle Decelles, a spokeswoman for Saint Joseph's Oratory, says no one at the church — including nuns who live on the site — heard or saw any signs of a fire on Saturday evening.

She says the Oratory's security team looked for signs of a fire this morning after seeing images shared widely on social media and found no evidence that one had taken place.

Decelles says the church believes the video was assembled by splicing footage from different sources.

The video, which has circulated on social media, appears to show people playing drums and chanting north African soccer cheers around a fire on the church's front steps.

It appears to show a large crowd in front of the church, a major tourist site, including people entering and exiting through its main doors.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 3, 2023.

The Canadian Press