August 16, 2017 5:52 am
Updated: August 16, 2017 12:36 pm

CN Tower open after firefighters extinguish antenna mast fire

Wed, Aug 16: Neil Jones, Chief Operating Officer for the CN Tower, explains the difficulty of accessing the antenna mast to douse the suspected electrical fire.


The CN Tower opened on schedule at 8:30 a.m. after firefighters extinguished an early morning fire inside the structure’s antenna mast above the observation deck.

Firefighters were called just after 4 a.m. Wednesday to the popular tourist attraction in downtown Toronto.

Toronto Fire officials said the fire was located in a confined space and that only one person could reach the area at a time.

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“”The fire is now out. Our crews are just presently bringing all of the equipment down,” Platoon Chief Kevin Shaw told reporters at the scene.

“We’ll be turning it over to CN personnel. They’re going to go in and see the extent of the damage and have the people here repair it and get the communications restored.”

Shaw said firefighters used CO2 to extinguish the fire.

“As you can imagine, it’s been a real labour intensive process,” Shaw said. “We had to take a lot of the equipment up there. Four crews up there.”

Authorities believe the fire may have started as a result of an electrical issue but the exact cause is still unknown.

Neil Jones, Chief Operating Officer for the CN Tower, said no evacuations were ordered and no one was injured.

“There’s no threat to the structure or to public safety,” Jones said. “”We should be open to the public today. We’re just waiting on Toronto Fire to give the all clear. Then our crews will work to replace the cable. It looks like the cable is smoldering.”

LISTEN: Neil Jones joins The Morning Show on AM640

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At least six fire trucks and more than 20 firefighters were called to the scene.

The antenna, which is 102 metres in height, broadcasts over 30 Toronto television and FM radio signals across southern Ontario.

Several broadcasters reported service disruptions as a result of the fire.

“Most of the broadcast signals switch over to other buildings,” Jones said. “What it’ll do is effect probably the distance its reaching right now.”

A cleaning crew employee told Global News she was inside the structure when the fire broke out and that the alarm system went off.

“While we were there cleaning, we hear the alarm but we didn’t take it for anything,” Jenieve Grant said. “So we just continued cleaning. Then later on, there was a voice recording asking us to exit the building.”

“I didn’t think it was that serious. I thought it was a false alarm. But it seems pretty serious.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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