Suspicious fire at Capri Hotel
Jun 30, 2012 / 8:03 am
The Kelowna Fire Department is describing an early morning fire at the Coast Capri Hotel as suspicious in nature.
Hundreds of guests had to be evacuated when a fire broke out in the tower section of the hotel at 1:21 a.m.
Fire investigators from the Kelowna Fire Department and the RCMP began looking into the cause of the fire as soon as it was put out.
Guests of the hotel report being awoken by the sound of fire alarms and some say at first they thought it was just a prank, but soon realized that people could be heard in the hallway evacuating the area.
In all, 358 guests were evacuated from the hotel.
"This morning around 1:20 we got a call for alarms ringing here," says Platoon Captain Dale Calhoun.
The call prompted a large response.
Four engines, two Ladder Trucks, one Rescue, one Command Unit, one Safety Officer and 41 firefighters including the paid on-call firefighters and call back staff responded to the scene with assistance from BCAS, RCMP, Salvation Army, Emergency Support Services and Fortis BC.
Additional call back staff and Paid on Call fire fighters from East Kelowna and Glenmore were repositioned to provide coverage across the remainder of the City during this event.
Initial attack crews reported heavy smoke in the hallways from the 3rd floor up to the 7th floor and located fire in the 6th floor stairwell, the 7th floor and an extension into an 8th floor mezzanine.
"It was one of those fires that were hard to find in a way and once the crews got up there, it took a while to put out, but it was contained to a small part of the tower area," says Calhoun.
By daybreak things were under control, and some guests were being allowed back in.
"Everybody was evacuated out of here with the help of the RCMP. We've had buses to house the people for a while, and right now, people are still out of the tower, but for the first, second, third and fourth floors, we're allowing people back in to stay in that part of it."
For those not being allowed back in, staff from the Coast Capri have been working through the night to find new accommodations for displaced guests.
One fire fighter was taken to Kelowna General Hospital for treatment of 2nd degree burns to the hands and has since been released, no other injuries were reported.
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