The latest setback at Tim Hortons Field is a fire overnight Saturday morning which caused an estimated $25,000 in damage to a mechanical room on the west side of the still-under construction stadium.
The Fire Department received a call from construction security reporting smoke inside the stadium, the first two trucks were dispatched at 3:28am.
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Upon arrival, Ladder 9 observed heavy smoke venting out of the third storey of the structure and upgraded the call to a structure fire. A seventh unit was quickly dispatched and fire suppression operations began.
Crews were able to access the mechanical room, quickly contain, and then put out the fire.
They used a municipal hydrant across the street and ran fire hose to the fire.
Fire spokesperson Dave Christopher states the mechanical room damage appears to be limited to the HVAC system, but must await inspection during the day to confirm the extent of damage.
City officials stated earlier in the week the HVAC system will not be operational for the Labour Day game, and the corporate boxes are planned to be closed due to this.
If the damage is solely limited to the HVAC system, it is possible this fire will have no impact upon the temporary occupancy permit situation.
The case of the fire is under investigation. The Ontario Fire Marshal has been called to investigate as the stadium is a provincial building.
Officials from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were on site shortly after the fire assessing damage.
The City stated on Thursday they expected to make the decision on the temporary occupancy permit for Monday’s Labour Day Classic on Sunday.
While the fire is not good news for Ticats fan hoping for a Monday game, they can take some hope from the initial assessment of fire crews damage is likely limited to the HVAC system.
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