Carelessness blamed for hotel fire
Structural damage from the fire has reached $85,000 so far, but costs for lost business and damage to other guests' property has yet to be totalled
by Derek Neary
NNSL (Mar 11/98) - A fire that forced the evacuation of the Yellowknife Inn last week was caused by a guest who burning the ends of a nylon rope, says the city fire department.
Burning material from the rope reportedly dropped to the floor and ignited the bedding. The man wound up with burnt hands after trying to put out the fire himself. He escaped otherwise unharmed.
Structural damage from the fire has amounted to $85,000 so far, but costs for lost business and damage to other guests' property has yet to be totalled.
"The indirect losses are substantial here... it's going to take months, literally, for this stuff to dribble in," Yellowknife deputy fire chief Mike Lowing said.
No criminal charges have been laid, however.
"It wasn't an intentional act," Lowing said, adding that the man was simply melting the frayed ends of the rope.
It was the bedding that proved most flammable, according to Lowing.
"The mattress had a foam cover on the top and once that going, then the fire really began to motor," he said.
Half of the hotel's second floor had been cordoned off until Monday.
Many of the guests weren't able to return to their rooms until late in the evening as firefighters spent more than an hour ventilating the second, third and fourth floors of the building Thursday. A hotel employee had sounded the fire alarm around 4 p.m.