August 18, 2007
Connecticut - About 150 people were evacuated from
the downtown Marriott Hotel and Spa yesterday after
a fire erupted in ventilation shafts. About 26 Stamford
Fire and Rescue firefighters responded just before
4 p.m. to crush flames shooting from air ducts on
the side of the hotel on Tresser Boulevard, Deputy
Chief Dave Jones said.
Flames rolled up the building, reaching up to 6 feet,
No one was injured. The fire may have started in
air ducts on the second floor, but the fire marshal
is investigating the cause.
Guests were not evacuated immediately because the
fire didn't pose a serious threat, according to the
hotel's general manager, Joe Kelly.
The fire was in the ventilation system on the second
floor, near the laundry room and housekeeping quarters.
No fire was reported in any guest rooms.
Several guests left the hotel themselves after they
saw smoke from their windows or smelled it in the
hallways. Many lingered outside the lobby doors sipping
on bottled water and trying to keep cool.
Patti Dreifuss and her sisters, Barbara and Vivian
Dreifuss, were lounging at the hotel's indoor-outdoor
pool when they saw heavy black smoke.
The sisters thought they'd escaped the Manhattan
bustle for a retreat to Stamford.
"It was supposed to be a quiet weekend without
fire engines and police cars," Barbara Dreifuss
It was the second time the trio had something happen
while staying at the hotel.
"Last time we were here there was a blackout,"
Patti Dreifuss said. "But at least we didn't
have to walk down as many flights this time."
All 150 guests and hotel employees were evacuated
about 4:30 p.m. after smoke began to fill the lobby
and several corridors, Kelly said.
"We tried to make them as comfortable as we
can," he said. "This was really a very small
fire. It was the fact that the smoke was going up
the side of the building and got into the hallways
that made it more noticeable."
Police blocked the intersections along Tresser Boulevard
from Washington Boulevard to Elm Street to direct
traffic, Assistant Police Chief Robert Nivakoff said.
Smoke and flames traveled through several air ducts
in the building, and smoke flowed into the upper levels
of the 16-floor hotel and the lobby, fire Capt. William
Four small first-floor conference rooms were damaged
by water, smoke and debris after firefighters pulled
out ceiling tiles and ducts to extinguish fire, Avalos
said. The area was cordoned off until repair, he said.
Guests were allowed in about 7:30 p.m., Kelly said.