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Big-O Tower closed until summer after fire; Canada's Olympic trials were affected

Big-O Tower closed until summer after fire;  Canada's Olympic trials were affected

The Olympic Stadium tower will be closed for four to six months after a fire tore through the Montreal landmark last month.

The March 21 fire, which is being investigated by Montreal police's arson squad, caused “significant” smoke and water damage as firefighters attempted to extinguish the blaze, the Olympic Park said in a news release Wednesday evening. No one is hurt.

The closure of the Sports Centre, which was also affected by the fire, disrupted at least one major sporting event. Swimming Canada announced Wednesday on social media that it is working on a contingency plan to host the 2024 Paris Olympic Trials after learning of an “extended closure of the Olympic pool in Montreal.”

“Our top priority is to preserve it [Montreal-area trials] On the original dates of May 13-19. We will provide more information as soon as we are able to do so.”

The Olympic Park said that all 14 floors of the tower were affected by the fire that broke out on the southeast side of the stadium's mast, and that more than 275 people were working to clean the site and conduct air quality tests.

The tower houses offices for staff at Desjardins, Sigma-RH, and the National Institute of Sport of Quebec, among others.

A fire in the Olympic Park on March 21, 2024 closed the sports center for the entire weekend. (Cosmo Santamaria, CTV News)

“The Olympic Park is fully aware of the significant impact this disaster has had, and is working with its partners and tenants to relocate them to other buildings within its facilities,” it said in the statement.

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“The Olympic Park teams are working closely with the National Institute of Sport of Quebec to ensure that athletes return to a safe and healthy environment as quickly as possible.”

The fire department said the fire started around 1:45 a.m. on March 21. The file was immediately transferred to the SPVM arson squad.

SPVM spokesman JB Brabant said on Wednesday that the fire was man-made, but investigators were still trying to determine whether it was accidental or intentional. No arrests have been made.

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