July 6, 2014 6:33 pm

Hotel evacuated near Pearson; Cambridge man charged with mischief

TORONTO – Hundreds of guests at a Toronto hotel were forced out of their rooms in the middle of the night and a man has been charged after police say a fire hose that had been tampered with triggered a small fire, setting off sprinklers.

Fire crews were called around 2 a.m. Sunday to the Holiday Inn (at Dixon Road and Carlingview Drive) near Pearson airport after it’s alleged one of the guests interfered with a fire hose.

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Police say the guest had been drinking and that the incident led to a small electrical fire in a maintenance room and extensive water damage to three floors of the building – with ceiling tiles breaking loose and hallway carpets made soggy.

Those staying at the hotel were bused out and the building is expected to be closed for several days for repairs.

No one was injured. A 35-year-old Cambridge, Ont., man has been charged with mischief.

The early morning incident scuttled the last day of a sci-fi convention being held at the hotel, said organizer Patti Bond, who had just turned in for the night when events began to unfold.

“About 2:20 there was a very loud ‘pop’ noise… at that point we sort of thought, ‘oh I wonder what’s happening’ and then we could hear water,” she said.

“It was coming through the ceiling, down the elevator shafts, all through the lobby.”

“The carpets, and the floors – it was really very slippery, obviously,” Bond said.

The affected floors, including hers, were evacuated at that point, with the rest of the building ushered out a few hours later – with firefighters helping lug bags outside – so power could be safely shut off.

But the gathering made the best of it, with some even having an impromptu round of the party game Cards Against Humanity in the midst of the commotion.

“It looks like a group of us will head out for lunch after this, get some food and enjoy each other’s company a little more,” she said.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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