The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on February 4, 1972 · 27
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The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · 27

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Friday, February 4, 1972
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Friday, February 4, 1972. Page 27 Vanier City Hall. rf : dest By Tom Van Dusen Citizen start writer The 83-year-old Vanier municipal hall and police department building didn't wait for the wrecking hammers. The Montreal Road-Cyr Street building, which city fathers planned to vacate this year, came to a fiery finish Thursday night. No damage estimate will be available, said Mayor Roger Crete", until the Ontario Fire Marshall's' Office has completed its investigation. He added that the building was insured. Ambulances Despite early fears that policemen One minute There was a small crowd of people standing in front of the Vanier municipal building when Bob Lamarche got off the bus Thursday night. "I looked over and saw smoke coming from the old fire department garage at the back of the building. Two seconds later the whole place was on fire." Mr. Lamarche, interviewed as the 83-year-old building crumbled in flames, said he didn't hear an explosion. "One minute there was only smoke; the next minute there were flames in every window." Mr. Lamarche arrived at the corner of Montreal Road and Cyr Street at about 9.20 p.m. He said fire trucks were at the scene two minutes later. Paul Verdon, who works at the East-view Hotel across Cyr Street from fie gutted council chambers and police department, said someone came in the tavern at about 9.05 p.m. and told him The building as it looked fill U .fi -FiTS I i "n x i ' - ; " k i r- ' ' . v . ..... :': y mil gut) 11 W onquin carnival Alg i, - - : - ( 5 V ' " ' - -.A by royec or people being detained in basement cells had been trapped in the building, the services of two ambulances at the scene weren't required. A sergeant and constable, apparently the only people in the structure when fire broke out at about 9 p.m., just had time to grab their coats and run out the door.' v Police Chief Claude Dwyer said his men were unable to give him any indication how the fire started. ; - x The police department's base of operations was shifted to offices in the municipal arena overnight. The chief said the department would move to the city administration smoke... then an inferno of the fire. "When I went out for a look, there was only one man standing there, a plainclothes detective. I saw smoke and he said he'd already called the fire department." Mr. Verdon said the smoke was coming from the old fire department garage which faces on Cyr. "Then the garage door and the whole place burst into flame just like that," he said, snapping his fingers. Mr. Verdon said police then asked him to close the tavern to ensure the safety of patrons. "They thought there might have been some dynamite in the basement." As with Mr. Lamarche, Mr. Verdon said he heard no loud explosions. Both men, however, heard smaller explosions at about. 10.15 p.m. as flames took a solid hold on the doomed building. Mr. Lamarche attributed the yesterday afternoon -ii' ! .... ..I-- fire building on Dupuis Street today. New station The fire department moved from the Montreal Road-Cyr Street location last week to a new station on Ste. Anne Avenue. The old municipal structure and the land it sits on was up for sale and tenders are waiting to be opened. A high-rise building is to be erected on the site. Council was awaiting sale of the property before moving to Dupuis Street with the police department. Mayor Crete hopes to begin con-structon of new municipal buildings sometime this year. "bangs" to exploding bullets and Mr. Verdon thought they might have been caused by popping glass. Jean Pierre Blouin, an Eastview Hotel desk clerk, said a policeman came into the hotdl at about 9.45 p.m. to call in off-duty officers. "He had to do it from memory because the staff list was destroyed in the fire, so it took him a little while." He said a sergeant told him he was eating with a constable when the fire broke and just managed to escape before the building was engulfed by flames. Mr. Blouin had also heard that a new motorcycle and a cruiser were lost in the fire. A police department spokesman later said the vehicles were saved. The Eastview Hotel provided coffee for firefighters and policemen. Ottawa and Ontario Provincial Police took over crowd control as Vanier Police Chief Claude Dwyer, a 27-year veteran of the force, mustered his men in temporary headquarters at the municipal arena. One of the main fears was that the radio transmitter tower on top of the building would topple over and injure curious onlookers. The tower, however, fell harmlessly.- Ottawa police superintendent Tom Flanagan said the Ottawa department would assist Vanier police in every way possible. Vanier Mayor Roger Crete has called : for . a . complete investigation, into the fire.: .- .- .. 'New quarters' sprightly 61 . Vanier' city Iiall will be 22 years younger than the building which the city was forced to vacate because of fire Thursday night. The new building at 297 Dupuis St. is a sprightly 61-years-old; the old " Montreal Road structure was 83 when its career ended. The burned building which was purchased in 1911 from the old East-view Separate School Board for $5,000 also housed the police and, until last week, the fire departments. Being a teacher at Algonquin College may be an asset daring the rest of the year but it apparently doesn't help during the college's winter carnival as at least one teacher discovered Thursday when he 'Was splattered with pie.. ' ' '; Teachers and students found the pies tasty, although a bit messy. They became involved in the carnival's pie-throwing contest. Two hundred cream filled pies were thrown at the executive "tarsets". hijinks , t pSMilip iSliliSilSlii:: ;llf if illt W In the midst of . . . and pie in i U Jr f f ...war : t , T I Iff V.' a.'?, . f it just c - A ' ' : h! . in Citlzen-Carndisn Prejj photoi the blizzard, a blaze i ' - ' 4 iSllliillliilil x -f. ' I it T; again at midnight your eye N K " is

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