Cape May hotel Friday
July 24, 2009
CAPE MAY _ A five-alarm fire that originated in a
commercial clothes dryer sent summer tourists scurrying
out of their rooms here at The Beach Shack early Friday
Nobody was hurt and the fire at the Beach Avenue
hotel was extinguished in just over two hours.
Fire Chief Jerry Inderwies Jr. said Cape Resorts
Group, which owns several hotel properties in town,
uses the laundry facility to do all its linens.
Inderwies said an occupant in one of the hotel rooms
reported the fire at 1:19 a.m. after hearing the smoke
alarm in the laundry building. The fire was contained
to the laundry room and never reached the hotel rooms
at The Beach Shack, which is the former Coachman's
The fire did fill about 13 hotel rooms with smoke
and the police evacuated those occupants. They stood
on The Promenade during the fire-fighting effort but
were relocated to other rooms. Inderwies said the
13 rooms will be reopened sometime today.
The fire led to an "all-call alarm" that
toned out all the companies south of the Cape May
Canal, including Cape May, West Cape May, Cape May
Point and the U.S. Coast Guard. Town Bank Volunteer
Fire Co., Lower Township Rescue Squad and Cape May
County Fire Marshall's Office were also called.
Inderwies said the fire spread from the dryer to
some wooden shelves above it. Firefighters cut a hole
in the roof to ventilate the smoke. Firefighters cleared
the scene at 3:30 a.m.