December 1st, 1922, just before 9:00 pm, the fire that would eventually destroy Vieux-Terrebonne is beginning in the windows and doors factory belonging to Joseph Limoges. It is located at the end of Sainte-Marie Street and it extends into the river, just beside today’s City Hall. The wooden building is rapidly taken over by the flames. The wind, blowing at over 90 km/h that evening, helps the spread of the fire. It moves from Sainte-Marie Street to Chapleau Street, just south of Saint-Pierre Street. Coal stored in the house's basement helps to feed the conflagration.
The city hall is quickly set ablaze, while the City Council meeting has just been suspended by Mayor Eugene Labelle, who heard the first distress calls. While the mayor is working to assist the victims, his house and business are also engulfed by fire.
Firefighters from Montreal, Sainte-Thérèse, Sainte-Rose and Trois-Rivières are called in as reinforcements. They ensure that the fire does not spread beyond Saint-Pierre Street. Their approach leaves residents perplex, since the firefighters prefer dynamiting the burning houses, making them collapse onto themselves, rather than let the flames spread to neighbouring houses. The firefighters finally got the upper hand, and the fire was extinguished by the next afternoon. On the perimeter of the area consumed by the fire, two or three houses survived the disaster, including the "Maison du miracle." We will see it later.
A total of 150 families were left homeless, representing 668 victims. This is a third of the population of the city, which for the most part had no insurance. Terrebonne’s religious institutions and residents as well as the city of Terrebonne itself are helping by providing shelter and food to victims, but they are not alone. Informed of the fate of Terrebonne, the province's citizens send thousands of donations: money, food and building materials. These gifts, added to a generous contribution from the Government of Quebec, greatly contribute to the reconstruction of the city, most of which was rebuilt in the summer of 1923.