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UPDATE: Charlottetown mall to re-open Tuesday, Spa to remain closed

City firefighters respond to a blaze inside the Charlottetown Mall on Sunday.
City firefighters respond to a blaze inside the Charlottetown Mall on Sunday. - Mitch MacDonald

The Charlottetown Mall will be re-opening Tuesday following a fire that triggered an evacuation of the entire complex Sunday afternoon.

However, the Spa Total Fitness Centre, where the fire originated, will remain closed.

No one was injured during the fire, which prompted a response from the Charlottetown Fire Department shortly after 3 p.m.

Fire Chief Randy MacDonald said firefighters were able to quickly locate the blaze in a sauna.

“We were able to tear the wall apart and put the fire out,” said MacDonald, who described the sauna as “gutted” and noted a sprinkler system was also activated by the fire.

The Guardian was unsuccessful in reaching the owner of Spa Total Fitness Centre.

However, the centre’s Twitter account provided an update stating it would remain closed on Tuesday.

“We are working very hard to have the facility open to you all again very soon. Thank you very much for your patience during this time,” it stated.

Firefighters were still investigating the cause of the blaze Sunday evening. The Guardian was unable to reach the city’s fire inspector Monday.

Charlottetown police and Island EMS also responded to the scene.

Police and mall management conducted the evacuation.

Sgt. Dave Pound of Charlottetown Police Services said all available officers responded to the call and the evacuation went “very smoothly.”

"I’ve got to give credit to mall staff and security for their efforts in getting everyone out safely," said Pound, who estimated there were a few hundred people in the mall at the time of the evacuation. "There would easily have been as many or more in the cinemas, they were full at the time (of the fire)."

The Cineplex Cinemas located in the mall was evacuated during the fire but was later given the OK to re-open Sunday evening. The theatre resumed normal operations on Monday, although the rest of the mall was closed.

The incident also attracted a number of onlookers as smoke billowed out of the building.

Pound said police made an effort to block off entrances to the mall property in order to reduce congestion while others were leaving the parking lots.

Once firefighters had extinguished the blaze, they remained on scene in order to clear out the smoke.

“The smoke was hard to get out of the building,” said MacDonald.

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