Fire injures one, forces evacuations at extended-stay hotel in Grand Prairie

Posted Monday, Jan. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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An early morning hotel fire Monday in Grand Prairie sent one person to the hospital with smoke inhalation, caused the evacuation of at least 20 people and destroyed one room, authorities said. Firefighters responded at 4:30 a.m. to a call of a blaze at Budget Suites of America, 2770 Hwy. 360, and immediately issued a second alarm because of the need for evacuations at the extended-stay hotel, said Fire Chief Robert Fite.

"That's a large building and the rooms were all full," he said. "We had to go door-to-door knocking and getting the people out."

Occupants were not the "normal hotel crowd," Fite said. "Many people have their life belongings in those rooms. Some have pets."

One other occupant was treated at the scene for a condition unrelated to the fire, Fite said.

The smoke-inhalation victim was taken to Arlington Memorial Hospital, Fite said.

The fire's cause is under investigation. However, the point of origin appears to be a pile of clothes next to the bed, Fite said.

"We know it wasn't intentionally set," he said. "The investigator is going up to interview the occupants to see if they smoked."

The victim's husband was back at the room Monday morning sorting through their possessions to see what is salvageable, said Chris Smith, the hotel's general manager.

"They will be in a new suite by late afternoon," Smith said. "With $1,500 worth of carpet, paint and new furniture, we'll have that unit back up in two weeks."

Almost two dozen firefighters were needed to contain the fire to a single room and put it out, Fite said.

"This was greatly aided by an active sprinkler system and fire alarm system," he said.

The victim's husband told Smith that a smoke detector in their room woke them, Smith said.

All the occupants were allowed to return to their rooms temporarily, but the hotel management must repair and recharge the sprinkler system that was shut down in the firefighting process, Fite said. He said the repairs are simple and should be finished today.

Terry Evans, (817) 390-7620

Twitter: @fwstevans

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