Canada firefighters brave extreme heights to put out CN Tower fire

OTTAWA: Firefighters in Canada's largest city hiked partway to the top of the world's third-tallest tower and through a narrow crawlspace to put out a smouldering fire early Wednesday.

The fire broke out at about 4am inside the antenna atop the CN Tower in Toronto, and was extinguished a few hours later.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is not yet known.

But officials said insulation around wiring in an electrical conduit inside the mast was burnt.

"It was likely started by a short circuit," Toronto Fire Services district fire chief Stephan Powell told AFP.

Powell described how firefighters took elevators to the main observation deck, then transferred to another set of elevators to a secondary observation platform called SkyPod at the base of the antenna.

From there, he said, they had to "climb a ladder approximately 100 feet up and through a very narrow space" inside the antenna to reach the fire near the top of the 553m tower.

The firefighters released carbon dioxide inside the mast to smother the fire, he said.

Dozens of television and radio broadcasts were reportedly interrupted when firefighters cut power to the tower, but they have since been restored.

The CN Tower is a signature icon of the city's skyline and a symbol of Canada, attracting an estimated two million visitors each year.

It was built in 1976 and held the record as the world's tallest building until 2009 when it was eclipsed by both the Burj Khalifa and the Canton Tower in China.

It reopened to the public midday Wednesday. — AFP