Fire leads to evacuation of floor in Foxwoods tower

(WTNH/ Tina Detelj)

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. (WTNH)– A fire resulted in a hotel evacuation at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket on Monday morning.

Just before 11 a.m., a fire broke out on the 21st floor of the Grand Pequot Tower at Foxwoods.

“It was very tense, said Wellingthon Hoepelman of Providence, R.I. “It was tense. A lot of people were confused. They didn’t know what was going on.”

Hoepelman and his wife were in the spa on the 16th floor of the hotel when a smoke alarm alerted dispatchers to a rear balcony on the 21st floor.

“The fire was outside the building and there was a light smoke condition that went into the lounge area,” said Chief Jon Marr with the Mashantucket Pequot Fire Department.

He said it took only about ten minutes to get the fire under control. As a precaution though the entire hotel was evacuated for about an hour.

“We were kind of frantic. Everybody started running and we were… the elevators were shut down so we had to go through the staircase,” said Hoepelman. “That was a little bit scary.”

Guests gathered in the lobby where Hoepelman says they were given water and told about the fire on the 21st floor.

“Looked like there was a fire on the 24th floor from a cigarette butt that somebody left in a trash can,” said Hoepelman.

The fire chief says the cause is under investigation. He says it’s been a long time since there has been a fire here but this is what they train for and they’re prepared.

“We have certain standards that we follow when tackling high rise emergencies. We’re well versed in it here,” said Chief Marr.

Firefighters used thermal imaging and air monitoring to make sure the fire didn’t spread and the building was safe for guests.

“It’s for our own safety and it’s always better safe than sorry,” said Hoepelman.

Firefighters remained on scene after the fire was put out to check the floors above and below it in the tower.

There were no injuries reported. The fire remains under investigation.

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