some smoke damage at DoubleTree
By TRISTAN SCOTT of the Missoulian
Guests were evacuated from the DoubleTree Hotel early
Wednesday as firefighters quelled a small fire that
broke out in the kitchen.
Assistant Fire Marshal Nate Nunnally, who investigated
the fire, estimated that 80 percent of the 171 guest
rooms were occupied, and said everyone was evacuated
from the building at 100 Madison St.
“When I showed up there were a lot of people
standing outside in their sleeping gear,” Nunnally
said. “The entire building was cleaned out for
a good couple of hours.”
Guests were allowed to return to their rooms at about
The fire started in the kitchen at the hotel's Finn
and Porter Restaurant, where a grease buildup combusted
inside an infrared stove. Although flames spread to
the ventilation system and the roof of the building,
the fire was contained to the kitchen and no one was
Nunnally estimated damage to the restaurant at about
$65,000, but said costs could be higher or lower.
In total, about 25 emergency personnel responded
to the two-alarm fire.
Dan Cortino, general manager of the DoubleTree, said
Finn and Porter will be closed for several days while
the duct work is replaced.
“It shouldn't be more than a few days but I
don't have a definitive date,” he said.
Even though the fire was contained, guests at the
hotel were evacuated as a precautionary matter, Cortino
Nunnally acknowledged that even firefighters thought
the fire would be more serious at first glance.
“It looked really bad at first because of all
the smoke and the grease buildup in duct system,”
Nunnally said. “It was just a chimney fire,
but it looked like there were flames shooting through
the roof. Our firefighters were thinking ‘Oh
boy, this is the big one.' ”
He said any kitchen that produces “grease-laden
vapors” faces similar hazards, and emphasized
the importance of keeping ventilation ducts clean.”