Hampton hotel fire caused by unattended cooking

Photo by Rico Bush

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton firefighters battled a fire at a hotel on W. Mercury Blvd. early Friday morning. The hotel, which had at least 105 registered guests, was evacuated as a result of the fire.

Crews found alternative accommodations at area hotels for the displaced guests, and even provided transportation for guests who were unable to drive themselves to the new location.

Friday afternoon, fire investigators determined the cause of the fire was unattended cooking in one of the rooms.

Firefighters say the fire started on the second floor of the InTown Suites, and was contained to that area. The hotel guests were evacuated due to safety reasons. Dominion Power turned off power to the building as a safety measure and will determine when it is safe to turn it back on.

According to Asst. Fire Chief Maurice Wilson with the Hampton Fire Division, crews responded to the InTown Suites in the 2100 block of W. Mercury Blvd. around 3:30 a.m. after receiving notice of a fire alarm.

“I opened the door it was just pure fire,” resident Eddie Rife said. “It was on fire and we couldn’t do anything about it so we just started getting everybody out.”

Eddie Rife said he ran from floor to floor with hotel workers trying to get people out. But, he found a woman in a wheel-chair other people forgot.

“I ended up running into her room grabbing her putting her in her wheelchair,” he explained. “I tried to go down the elevator but it was too smokey and the elevator was out so I have to take her by the steps.”

Firefighters arrived to find the fire on the second floor in room 221. Wilson says the sprinkler system activated which helped firefighters bring the fire under control in about 10 minutes.

When the sprinkler system went off, it also leaked water into a few first floor rooms and caused smoke and water damage.

Wilson says the hotel was evacuated and two people complained of smoke inhalation. Both were evaluated on the scene and didn’t go to the hospital.

According to Wilson, no one has claimed to be staying in the room where the fire started.

InTown Suites released this statement about the fire:

InTown Suites is aware of a small and isolated fire that occurred this morning in one of our rooms.  Our fire suppression systems worked as designed and the fire was quickly extinguished.  According to Hampton fire officials, no persons required medical attention as a result of this incident. The safety of our guests is of utmost importance and we thank the Hampton Fire Department for their quick response.   We are working with authorities and local contractors to fully restore services and will continue to make as our guests as comfortable as possible while we resolve this issue.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates on this developing story.

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