UPDATE: Smoking cigarette caused fire at North Shore hotel

Five sent to hospital, 33 displaced after fire in Northbridge Hotel above Duchess nightclub

A tenant who fell asleep while smoking a cigarette caused the fire in a Northbridge Hotel unit above the Duchess nightclub in the 300 block of Tranquille Road early Wednesday morning.

The male resident sustained minor burns and smoke inhalation during the fire, which started in the bed of a corner suite on the top floor of the three-storey building, accoridng to Kamloops Fire Rescue.

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He was pulled from the room and carried out of the building by the owner and caretaker of the hotel, said KFR fire prevention officer Ray Webster.

The man was the lone occupant of the room, which was gutted by the flames.

No other units on the floor were affected, but the third floor hallway was damaged by the heat and smoke, and some rooms on the floor below likely sustained water damage, Webster said.

The tenant, and four others who also had smoke inhalation, were sent to hospital.

The call came in at about 2:30 a.m. as a fire alarm that was upgraded to a room and contents fire, leading to six fire trucks responding to the call, KFR acting platoon captain Chris Burnham told KTW.

Four people were seen hanging out of windows and had to be rescued using ladders, Webster said.

The hotel was evacuated and 33 residents displaced — transported by bus to an emergency centre set up at the McArthur Island Sports Centre Wednesday morning.

Residents who live in the south wing of the third floor cannot return home yet due to smoke damage, but those living on the second floor and the north wing of the third floor have all been allowed to return.

Webster said those residents will receive three nights of temporary housing from emergency social services.

The fire, which was attended by 23 firefighters and contained to the single unit, was extinguished in a little more than an hour.

The Duchess did not sustain any damage.

Webster said the blaze serves as a reminder that people need to remember to extinguish smoking materials before going to bed.

© Kamloops This Week

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