After experiencing a hotel fire, guests at a New Jersey hotel found out the hard way why having a working fire protection system is so important. Early in the morning of Friday February 24th, a room at a Ramada Hotel caught fire, which began to spread into the hallway due to the room’s fire door being left open by the occupant. The heavy smoke and heat from the spreading fire caused residents in other parts of the hotel to hang from their windows until firefighters could rescue them.
After a brief investigation the Fire Chief explained that “Apparently some of the local alarms may not have been working properly” and firefighters had to go room to room evacuating residents who were asleep and unaware of the fire. Further investigation found that the alarm system did initially activate correctly, but that the hotel used an old electrical panel. Despite passing the recent inspection, the electrical panel blew a fuse as soon as the sound and light alert was sent through it.
The Fire Marshal has declared the hotel not operational during the night until a new, updated, electrical box can be installed that will be able to handle the fire protection systems. The hotel is being allowed to stay open during the day for guests and events.
It took 100 firefighters from 1:30 am to 4 am to get the fire under control, and they stayed on the scene until 7:30am to make sure it was completely extinguished. The Fire Chief explained that the hotel did have a firewall separating the area of the hotel on fire from other rooms.
The woman in the room where the hotel fire started and the police officer who was the first responder both are being treated for smoke inhalation, but there are no other injuries from the fire.