Akwesasne arena closed for season after suspicious fire

AKWESASNE – The Akwesasne arena will remain closed for the remainder of the winter season, the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne announced Monday.

It comes after an extensive fire Friday in the locker room of the 3,000 seat facility, known as the Turtle Dome, on Phillip Hopps Memorial Road on Cornwall Island.

The arena has sustained smoke damage and most of the arena is covered in soot, which will take several weeks to clean up, the MCA said.

The fire is being treated as suspicious as it under investigation by police.

The building was safely evacuated Friday while the Hogansburg-Akwesasne Volunteer Fire Department, aided by three area fire departments, was able to contain the fire.

“We are very appreciative of the quick response of both local and surrounding first responders who helped to ensure the fire was contained quickly, ultimately saving the arena from irreparable damage. Our partnerships and working relationships with these agencies is vital to the safety of our community members and buildings,” Grand Chief Abram Benedict said.

An opening date in the spring will be announced by the MCA when that date is determined.