Hotel evacuated after single room fire 

Drying clothes placed too close to fireplace

By Vivian Moreau

Don’t leave your britches too close to the fireplace, is the message from Whistler’s fire chief after three fire halls responded to a Tuesday evening fire at Pinnacle International Resort on Main Street.

Although confined to a fourth floor room, the fire started at around 6 p.m. when damp clothing placed too close to a propane fireplace caught fire. The fire then progressed to a nearby chair before the hotel’s sprinkler system kicked in.

“The sprinkler system activated as it should,” said Chief Bruce Hall, “and basically contained and extinguished the fire in the room.”

Although registered to one guest there was no one in the room when the fire alarm went off, said Stuart Cook, the Pinnacle’s front office manager.

Guests were quickly evacuated, first to Whistler’s public library next door and then to nearby Delta Whistler Village Suites for a few hours before being allowed to return to the Pinnacle.

This kind of fire happens rarely in Whistler but often enough to prompt Chief Hall to caution hotel guests “to please don’t put your clothes close to a fireplace.”

Other rooms on the fourth floor had minor smoke damage and there is some water damage to the third floor, but it is still business as usual for the 84-room hotel.

“We want to say thanks to the fire service, RCMP, to our staff, and staff of the Delta hotel — they were amazing,” Cook said, “but also to the library that stayed open late for us, allowing people to wait in the library while we sorted things out with Delta — and to our guests, whose response has been phenomenal.”

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