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HOTEL FIRE NEW JOURNAL-93
 

Hotel Sprinkler Success

BOISE - Fire crews quickly doused a fire at the Extended Stay America Hotel on Vista Avenue at Cherry Lane in Boise overnight.

A guest left something burning on a stove in one of the hotel’s rooms – sparking the fire.

The fire triggered the hotel’s sprinkler system, helping to contain the flames.

The fire was contained to one room of the hotel, and no one was injure

 

Wenonah Hotel blaze killed 10 people 30 years ago today
Monday, December 10, 2007
Thirty years ago today, the once majestic Wenonah Hotel was destroyed by a fire that killed 10 people. The devastating blaze is one of the worst in Bay City's history.

The massive building stood across from Wenonah Park where the Delta College Planetarium is today. According to news accounts during its 1908 opening, the Wenonah, named after the princess who loved Hiawatha in the epic poem, was constructed of marble, concrete, steel and glass and was labeled as virtually fireproof by engineers and owners.

The hey day of the hotel was over in the 1970s and the building had been converted from a 300-room luxury hotel to a 100-room apartment house. The day of the fire, Dec. 10,1977, was extremely cold, about 9 degrees, according to reports at the time. Water from the fire department's hoses quickly iced over the sidewalks and streets in the area.

Many people experienced the tragedy of the Wenonah Hotel fire from different perspectives - from actively engaging the blaze as a firefighter, rescuing terrified residents, or trying to get the story to the anxious public. Here is how they remember the event on Dec. 10, 1977:

Gary Connelly, Bay City firefighter (later fire marshal)

''It was a very hard fire to extinguish because it traveled from room to room and you got water on one room and it broke out in another. There was so much water being poured into that structure that the main (grand) staircase was like Niagara Falls.

''We couldn't get to the top floors until late. When we did, it was like being in a building in one of those bombed out cities during the war. We had to go looking for the bodies of the victims. It was something that weighed very heavy on us, something you never, ever forget. That feeling doesn't go away.''

Dick Somalski, snow plow operator (Hampton Township business owner)

''I had just finished plowing the parking lot of Bell Telephone Co. on Center and Madison and I could see the smoke. It was very heavy. I followed it and saw that the entire hotel was on fire.

 

Hotel fire: police hurt

December 12, 2007 - 8:29AM

Residents at a private hotel that was evacuated after a mattress caught fire thought the early morning emergency alarm was false, a resident said.

Police and fire crews were called to the two-storey Heidelberg Private Hotel in Bondi about 3.30am after the landlord phoned triple-0.

All 15 occupants were evacuated. Two police officers and a hotel guest were sent to hospital with smoke inhalation.

The police officers have since been discharged from The Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick.

"The fire alarm goes off every now and again if there's a certain heat," Agnes Ryan, the landlord's partner, said.

She said she thought it was a false alarm at first.

"One of the tenants next to the room that caught fire came down and woke the landlord up.

"The landlord then got everyone to get out."

She said the group stood in the cold in Waverley Park for an hour as fire crews dealt with the burning mattress.

"We were freezing but it's better than burning," Ms Ryan said.

She said the mattress was in the room of a long-term hotel resident, who was taken to hospital.

"We can only assume that he went to sleep with a smoke," she said.

Fire crews extinguished the mattress and guests were then allowed to return inside, a police spokesman said.

Police also believe a cigarette might have been the cause of the fire and are investigating

 
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