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Hotel fire on U.S. 19 forces out 75 guests

Authorities say the fire started in a laundry room of the Continental Inn and spread to the second floor. The damage is estimated at $20,000

LARGO -- A hotel fire that started in a first-floor laundry room forced the evacuation of about 75 guests Thursday
morning.

The fire spread to the second-floor laundry room, but did not get into any guest rooms, said District Chief Pat McGinley of the Largo Fire Department.

Firefighters were summoned to the Continental Inn, 12810 U.S. 19, at 7 a.m. to find fire in the laundry rooms. Crews evacuated the building and attacked the fire on both floors.

"We had fire on two floors when we showed up," McGinley said.

The blaze was knocked down by 7:22 a.m.

No guests were injured, though one firefighter suffered heat exhaustion. The firefighter was taken to Largo Medical Center and released four hours later, McGinley said.

Though light smoke seeped into units adjoining the laundry rooms, a concrete wall prevented flames from punching into the rooms or the attic, McGinley said.

"It was a nasty little fire, but thank God it didn't spread into any of the units or the attic," he said.

Damage was estimated at about $20,000. The fire was caused by an electrical problem, McGinley said.

"It pretty well gutted out both rooms," he said.

Guests were allowed into the rooms to get their things after the fire was out. It was unknown Thursday when the hotel
would open. Hotel management could not be reached.

 
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