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Fire Forces Guests From Orange County Hotel

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Guests at an Orange County hotel are back in the rooms, after fire forced them out.

Firefighters think it all started Thursday night on the fourth floor from an overheated pot on a stove at the Extended Stay Hotel on Westwood Boulevard. It was just after dinner time at the hotel when guests came rushing out.

Fourteen rooms on the fourth floor and 15 rooms on the third floor all cleared out when black smoke filled the upper floors. Orange County firefighters rushed upstairs and found a charred pot of soup left on the stove too long.

The guest in that fourth floor room said he tried to open the window and air his room out, but it wasn't enough. Smoke had already made its way into other rooms.

"The issue is when we have to evacuate smoke filled hallway or though a lobby, there's a potential for injury or illness as a result to the exposure to the smoke," said Chief James Gaut, Orange County Fire Rescue.

Firefighters were able to get inside in time before the fire could spread. One person was complaining of smoke inhalation, but is expected to be okay.

All the guests were let back inside, except for the room where the overheated pot was located.

Top hotel badly damaged in fire

9 May 2006

More than 60 firefighters have tackled a fire at one of Berkshire's most prestigious hotels.
Fire crews were called to the Swan hotel at Streatley, which is on the banks of the River Thames, near Goring, on Monday evening.

It is believed the fire started in the hotel's store room in the newly refurbished spa. About 30% of the roof of the building was destroyed.

One firefighter was injured putting out the flames at the 45-bedroom hotel.


Kitchen fire damages Tijuana's landmark Restaurant Caesar

May 31, 2006

TIJUANA – One of the city's oldest landmarks was damaged yesterday when flames broke out in the restaurant that gave worldwide fame to the Caesar salad.

The incident sent smoke above the Avenida Revolución tourist district, but no injuries were reported. The damage appeared to be contained to Bar Restaurant Caesar, near Fifth Avenue and next door to Hotel Caesar
Flames spread after a pan with hot oil caught fire in the kitchen, said Jorge Chávez Vargas, head waiter at the 76-year-old restaurant.
Caesar Cardini, who is said to have first sold the salad in the 1920s at his cafe down the street, opened the existing hotel and restaurant in 1930.

Though several versions of the Caesar salad creation story exist, it generally is believed the salad was made by Livio Santini, an Italian immigrant who was a cook in the original Caesar Cardini restaurant, and that Santini's boss was the first to market it, about 1925.

One story has it that the restaurant was running low on supplies and Cardini needed something whipped up with what he had on hand. He made the salad appear to be a specialty of the house by having it prepared at the table.

Four customers were at the restaurant yesterday when the fire broke out, Chávez said, two in the bar area and two in the patio outside by the sidewalk.

Firefighters received the call at 2:02 p.m., said Capt. Roberto Díaz of the Tijuana Fire Department, and left the restaurant two hours later. He said investigators were looking into the fire's cause.

The kitchen is in the back of the restaurant, which is operated separately from the hotel. While the flames were contained to the restaurant, the smoke passed through vents into the hotel and into the upstairs rooms, said Zita Ochoa, a receptionist at the hotel.

Guests and employees were evacuated. Late yesterday afternoon, employees were mopping out ashes from the restaurant and hotel, and the smell of smoke hung in the air.

Chávez, the head waiter, said he was hopeful that the front bar section could be reopened today, if fire officials give permission.

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