Friday, December 9

Fire tears through North Conway, NH hotel


Sprinkler system was not in section of building where massive North Conway hotel fire started

Section of building was built prior to sprinkler requirements



chief. Could you talk *** little bit about your response yesterday and what you had in terms of mutual aid. Now, if you’re looking back and everything go as you expected? Yes. Yesterday we got dispatch for *** working hotel fire at the red jacket mountain View Inn on White Mountain Highway. North Conway. Initial reports as heavy fire blowing from the south wing, third floor second floor area of the building. While we’re responding to the call, we got updated. That was civilians trying to escape from the third floor of the building, quote jumping. Um basically what we found was they actually lowered themselves to the second floor decks and jumped onto those and then safely exit the building. At that point, um the fire was progressing quickly. Do. The high gust of winds was blowing fueling the fire, pushing it through the building very quickly and rapidly. Crews made initial attack try to, but the wind and everything pushed them back out and we just started defensive operations. We had 28 communities from everywhere in the state lakes region, Mount Washington Valley, um from Tilton Wakefield, I mean all those areas, they all came to provide assistance to us. What can you tell me about the people that were injured? I gather it was not life threatening, but thank you, it was two firefighters that were injured. They were treated for heat related exhaustion fatigue. They were treated and released as far as we know. No, no injury. No. Uh other things in that there was two civilians that were transported from the scene. Memorial hospital one was some shortness of breath um wasn’t related to being in the fires will make that clear. And then the second one was *** diabetic problem where the medication that she needed was in the burning building that we could not get to. So she was transported and treated at the hospital as well. Chief at 10 o’clock last night, you told us that there was still concerned about the fire, that there was still some danger. At what point last night did that subside? About two a.m. Two ***. M. This morning where we had the excavator here working the fire trying to move all that big heavy steel roof and debris and things of that nature to be able to distinguish those hot spots. It’s *** three story building as people know, it was just too dangerous to put anybody inside that building and it was to structurally compromised at that point. So we had to aggressively use heavy equipment to prevent that fire from continuing to spread to the main portion of the building. Where did they come from? Rotten rock of North Conway. Okay, Thank them very much to, did the fire go through some fire breaks as well? What is the situation that it did go through *** couple of fire stops? Um, but that has to do with how the building was constructed from the fire being on the exterior of the building, kind of rolling up over them and things of that nature and the wind fueling it, pushing it right through there. So the fire stops did slow it down *** little bit. But with the winds that we’re having the guts that we’re having yesterday, they didn’t even think they were there but they definitely did help. What about sprinklers? Sprinklers? So in that section of the building was built in the 70s. It was prior to Sprinkler requirements. Is there any concern about the structural capability of the remainder? No, no concern whatsoever. What about water pressure? I imagine this took *** lot. It took *** lot of water pressure. It took *** lot of volume of water. The north korean water precinct stepped up to the plate, they turned all the pump stations on, opened the pressure PRVs to spend as much water to us as we can. We’re being fed from three different streets cross country and things of that nature to supply these trucks. And the difficulty in fighting the fire aside from the wind, volume of fire or what was *** volume the size of the building. And the other thing we’re also going to keep in mind, we’re trying to do accountability of the guests and make sure they’re all accountable at the same time as doing fire operations. I assumed that it was too difficult to do *** primary search. We started primary search but we got pushed back early on but we did because it was reports initially that it was Children trapped in the building. We did send crews to try to search in those areas and did not find anybody. What went through your mind when you heard very relieved, like maybe fire chief for any normal human being very relieved bring anybody out, help anybody out of the building. Was everything or was everybody out? I haven’t got to that stage yet. Thank you. But I haven’t got to that stage yet. Was it *** big challenge? Because you couldn’t get the front of the building, fire equipment, right. You got you got access about halfway down, but you still have to feed that those trucks with tankers at that point because there’s no water supply on the front of the building. So yeah, it’s all handwork from from, from that point, you know, you’re pulling the hoses, your truck and water and and things of that nature chief. Have you done any drills in this building? I know sometimes you know, fire departments will, did that play? We we train on *** regular basis is on large scales. But you know, it’s this is real, you can’t predict Mother Nature as we all have been through this. Um we do train and it does help, but you know, this is *** challenge site, we’re up on top of *** mountain view terrace, you know, so, but we did good mutual aid was exceptional. All the departments, we can’t thank them enough for sending that. Like I said, you know, we pulled from uh Laconia area. We pulled from Lakes region. You know, it’s incredible that everyone coming together, even Shelburne sent *** truck down. So, and I don’t know if this question is for you for the state fire marshal, but we’re getting conflicting reports about whether or not smoke detectors. I saw the, the alarm transmission, I guess you can say it was activated when my, when I arrived on scene, the horn strokes were working shortly after we were on scene that south wing horn strobes and sounder bases went out immediately so that the fire burned *** circuit or something like that. But they were working initially and what caused the power failure in north Conway and power. So the fire was on the south and that was the main feed line coming up through the woods through the right away, 70 200 volt line that the fire burned through and caused the circuit to short out and did it did its job. And therefore that’s why the power went out. Any idea how long the power was out? No, I don’t. All we asked for the power to be shut off and isolated for the, for the red jacket. So I don’t know what that is for the co op question for the state fire marshal assemblies and dress up. Where are you in terms of determining the cause of this fire? So we’re still working on it were called about 430 last night crews responded up here and they’ve been working through late into the night and then started again early this morning. At this point, the investigation is active and ongoing. We’re asking that any of the witnesses or anyone that was here provide had to have information to call our office 2234289. It’ll be *** bit before we have any definitive information based on the loss of the fire. The it’s going to be based *** lot on witness statements and information from the people that were here at the hotel just because of the extent of damage. What about now? The rumor going around town is that *** transformer blew and then that would start an electrical fire up here. Any sort of truth to that or you want to squash that rumor or what? I hadn’t heard that one yet. We’ll chase down all of the leads that we as we get them. Uh, but nothing definitive on that at this point. What about now? The guests are gonna scatter obviously. Does that make your investigation more difficult? How are you going to try and get in touch with that? So the red jacket personnel have been phenomenal at this point are sharing information. We have the guest list and we’re able to follow up with any of the guests, the cooperate relationship with the hotel and hopefully there the guests will be assisted. All the ones we’ve had worked with so far have been very helpful in obtaining information. They will help to the investigation what sort of information you’re looking for. We’re trying to determine where the cause and the origin of the fire so that you know, at first we want to find out pinpoint where it started and then if we can what started again because of the extent of damage that becomes more difficult and we rely more on the investigation on what people tell us. So you know, if someone came forward and said I lit the fire which we have no belief that that happened here at all. Um at this point there’s no criminal indicators, but you know, any little tidbit information to help pinpoint it becomes very helpful in an investigation. So at this point nothing suspicious, no criminal indicators at this time. And obviously, you know you had to tear down the section there, how does that impact your investment? It just makes the scene exam much more difficult and you know, in some cases impossible to actually dig through the rubble. Um so again, it’s witness statements that make *** big difference for us. Early reports of the fire will use the information from the fire alarm system and we’ll look at that because that was once we can get information off the panel will help pinpoint some of the areas of the fire and as you indicate there was no sprinkler. So in that area and that was okay based on the age of the building. So we’ll use some of the systems information from the building to help pinpoint the area as well. So the fire system then tells you this is where it first alarm first went off for. And have you been able to determine that yet? So sorry. So some areas of the building have more sophisticated systems as the building has been developed and renovated in that area, we believe it’s *** little bit older system, so it may tell us by floor or *** zone rather than specifically an address. Some of the new systems, we’ll tell you specifically this room, but we do not believe at this time that that section has that technology, but we’re gonna look into that and we’ll have to work with the fire alarm vendor through the red jacket in the in the coming weeks to get that information Justin you want to say something thank you, good afternoon, my name is Justin, grimes, Managing director of red jacket resorts. Yesterday we experienced *** really, you know, unfortunate event at Red jacket Mountain View, which is very beloved to us. Um but frankly it’s thanks to the North Conway Fire Department and so many local area first responders, the heroic efforts of them that allowed the fire and the south wing to be contained and ultimately extinguished before spreading further for us guest safety and our staff safety is our priority as such. The hotel remain closed for the foreseeable future. We’re working with our guests and our staff to ensure that their needs are met. Um Well, you know, *** reopening date will be announced further. Um and we’re in the process of connecting with all of our future guests about the reservations. We’ll share those updates with you as soon as we have them. Um I must say we are truly humbled, truly humbled by the spirit of giving in this community. Hotels and rental owners have come to the aid of our guests and our staff and fellow community members by providing them with *** place to stay, *** warm meal, clothing, and so many other essential items that we take for granted. Church groups even showed up with food, clothes and other items residents sent in items as well and to our staff who are rooted in this community. It means so much truly, you can’t imagine, you know what it means to us and to our team here at red jacket and we just want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Um We’re working with North Conway Fire Department um the authorities to assist in the investigation and we’ll defer all questions for the fire to them. But I thank everyone for their time and again, thank you to the community and everyone that’s been part of this to support our guests and our and our staff. Thank you. So what can you say about the hotel staff that I was able to coordinate the bussing to the various hotels. We heard that they were the point on that, right at this point, we’re not going to comment any further on the investigation. I just wanted to share that, share that statement Justin, but do you want to comment about the training your staff underwent? We talked to one of your guests that was staying in the north building there and she said they got *** knock on their door from *** housekeeper. The housekeeper had everything written down, showed it on her phone and talk *** little bit about the training you guys did. I can, I can just say, I’m incredibly proud of our team and again with the guests and the way this was handled them with the first responders. But this time, you know, we’re not open to any questions further, but but we’re very appreciative and very grateful for how it was handled by the team. What happens to your staff, what in the interim, what’s going to happen to them? It’s just coming out what’s what’s gonna happen to your staff. Obviously you’re not open. So right. We’re working actively with the team here as you can tell, you know, our team is on site right now. I’m on site here and we’re actively working through that, um, to to understand that better. We’re gonna still have jobs. That’s that’s what we’re working on right now and it’s our, it’s our, you know, our commitment to our staff to ensure that we handle this the right way. So thank you to anyone. I just want to make *** note please. I just really want to thank the community itself um providing the food, the drinks, the everything coming out pouring to this department and to the guests too. To everybody who was on scene, the food, the water, everything, the support that is Justin mentioned bringing close to anything. Uh we truly live in the mount Washington valley. Were blessed by the the outpouring support. And I got to think every business owner that donated stuff in people in person that donated personal things. So I need to put that out there and I need to thank them when I was interviewing different people with *** common refrain from the guests was that the keys were in the hotel and they only had one set of keys. And you know, so how are you assisting these people were stranded here? That’s great because red jacket is doing *** fabulous job. As Justin alluded to. They made arrangements with two companies. They’ve made arrangements with locksmiths. They’ve taken care of their guests. I will tell you they are taking care of their guests as best as they can and what resources they can pull their opponent to make sure these guests get back safely and getting the blonde is what they can. The North Wing. We’re able we’re able to get people back into that North wing to get their belongings out today So and they coordinated all that the people accountability of what room they were in. They escorted them to their rooms and helped carry their bags out. They did *** fabulous job. How would you describe the damage to the main the heavy water damage and smoke damage so structurally it’s super sound but interior early it’ll need an overhaul. Sure. Chief some online inquiries as the people, it’s *** difficulty hearing. They’re just asking again. You may have already explained this about the fire alarms and fire sprinklers if they were working at the time. So the building had partial Sprinkle system which covers the core of the building in *** small section of the South Wing. That system did activate upon the proper heat it needed. We do have that transmission of that alarm. The smoke detectors were working as far as the horn strobes. We do know that we heard them when we got there. So they were working initially. And another question is any idea on how many guests were staying here? 155. questions. It’s time. All right thank you. Thank you. Thank you

Sprinkler system was not in section of building where massive North Conway hotel fire started

Section of building was built prior to sprinkler requirements

Officials said fire crews were working to put out a massive fire until 2 a.m. Sunday at the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort in North Conway.Aerial video taken Sunday morning shows the aftermath of Saturday’s fire at the well-known resort on White Mountain Highway. Due to high winds, officials said the fire went through the building quickly. Fire crews brought excavators to move steel and debris to completely extinguish the fire. Officials said there were no sprinklers in the section of the building where the fire started. Fire Chief Pat Preece said that part of the building was built in the 1970s prior to sprinkler requirements. A partial sprinkler system was only located in a small part of the building.At this point, officials don’t know how this fire started. In a statement provided to News 9 on Sunday, the resort said, “Yesterday we experienced an extremely unfortunate incident at our beloved Red Jacket Mountain Resort. The fire that broke out in our south wing was extinguished thanks to the fast action of North Conway’s Fire Department and many area first responders. We are extremely grateful for them and for the local community’s outpouring of support to help our guests and our staff. We are truly humbled by their spirit of giving.””Guest and staff safety are always our first priority. The hotel will remain closed for the near future and we are working to ensure guests and staff who were on property during this time are having their needs met. We are in the process of connecting with future guests about their reservations.””The Red Jacket Mountain Resort is continuing to support authorities on their investigation and questions related to that matter can be directed to the North Conway Fire Department.” According to the New Hampshire Department of Safety, guest were seen jumping from upper-level to lower-level balconies before escaping safely on the ground. There were no reports of unaccounted guests. Two firefighters were treated for heat-related exhaustion and fatigue. They were treated and released. One civilian was taken to Memorial Hospital as a precaution for shortness of breath. Another civilian with diabetes was taken to the hospital as a precaution because their medication was in the building. Preece said fighting the fire was challenging since it was a mountain terrace resort. Over 28 departments from all around the state assisted. >> See raw video from the scenePreece said the rest of the hotel remains structurally, but there was some smoke and water damage. 75 rooms were destroyed in the fire. Those staying at the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort were offered to stay at a nearby resort. Residents and local groups came together to help those staying at the resort at the time of the fire. “Truly, you can’t imagine what it means to us to our team here at Red Jacket and we just want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Justin Grimes, of Red Jacket Mountain Resort. State fire marshal Sean Toomey said the destruction is so complete that witness statements will be crucial in helping them pinpoint the cause of the fire.”We’ll use the information from the fire alarm system, and we’ll look at that cause once we can get information from the panel that will help pinpoint some of the areas of the fire,” Toomey said. Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact the State Fire Marshal’s office at 603-223-4289.The resort is going to remain closed for the foreseeable future. The resort is trying to figure out how to keep their workers employed.

Officials said fire crews were working to put out a massive fire until 2 a.m. Sunday at the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort in North Conway.

Aerial video taken Sunday morning shows the aftermath of Saturday’s fire at the well-known resort on White Mountain Highway.

Due to high winds, officials said the fire went through the building quickly. Fire crews brought excavators to move steel and debris to completely extinguish the fire.

Officials said there were no sprinklers in the section of the building where the fire started.

Fire Chief Pat Preece said that part of the building was built in the 1970s prior to sprinkler requirements.

A partial sprinkler system was only located in a small part of the building.

At this point, officials don’t know how this fire started.

In a statement provided to News 9 on Sunday, the resort said, “Yesterday we experienced an extremely unfortunate incident at our beloved Red Jacket Mountain Resort. The fire that broke out in our south wing was extinguished thanks to the fast action of North Conway’s Fire Department and many area first responders. We are extremely grateful for them and for the local community’s outpouring of support to help our guests and our staff. We are truly humbled by their spirit of giving.”

“Guest and staff safety are always our first priority. The hotel will remain closed for the near future and we are working to ensure guests and staff who were on property during this time are having their needs met. We are in the process of connecting with future guests about their reservations.”

“The Red Jacket Mountain Resort is continuing to support authorities on their investigation and questions related to that matter can be directed to the North Conway Fire Department.”

According to the New Hampshire Department of Safety, guest were seen jumping from upper-level to lower-level balconies before escaping safely on the ground.

There were no reports of unaccounted guests.

Two firefighters were treated for heat-related exhaustion and fatigue. They were treated and released.

One civilian was taken to Memorial Hospital as a precaution for shortness of breath. Another civilian with diabetes was taken to the hospital as a precaution because their medication was in the building.

Preece said fighting the fire was challenging since it was a mountain terrace resort. Over 28 departments from all around the state assisted.

>> See raw video from the scene

Preece said the rest of the hotel remains structurally, but there was some smoke and water damage. 75 rooms were destroyed in the fire.

Those staying at the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort were offered to stay at a nearby resort. Residents and local groups came together to help those staying at the resort at the time of the fire.

“Truly, you can’t imagine what it means to us to our team here at Red Jacket and we just want to say thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Justin Grimes, of Red Jacket Mountain Resort.

State fire marshal Sean Toomey said the destruction is so complete that witness statements will be crucial in helping them pinpoint the cause of the fire.

“We’ll use the information from the fire alarm system, and we’ll look at that cause once we can get information from the panel that will help pinpoint some of the areas of the fire,” Toomey said.

Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact the State Fire Marshal’s office at 603-223-4289.

The resort is going to remain closed for the foreseeable future. The resort is trying to figure out how to keep their workers employed.



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