The rumors are true, the Highland Inn did indeed suffer a two alarm fire last night (Thurs., Feb.), but reports that it burned to the ground are greatly exaggerated.
According to Valerie Culkin who books music for the downstairs Ballroom Lounge, there was an electrical fire that broke out due to a short in a wall on the main floor. The fire started in a wall socket. The room was vacant and an electrician has since examined the socket in question and reportedly said that sometimes it just happens.
A walk around the perimeter of the building reveals that there are no signs of fire damage on the outside of the building. "I think the media made it out to be much worse than ti really was," said property manager Steve Harvey.
There were guests staying in the room next door to the room that caught on fire, and when their room filled up with smoke they alerted the hotel's staff who then called 911. When bar tender Josh Collins was alerted to the fire he tried to put it out with water, but it was too far inside the wall to extinguish.
The fire broke out shortly after the Kirkwood Ballers Club, a little before 1 a.m.
"I think they were expecting the worst just because it was a hotel," Culkin adds.
No one was hurt as a result of the fire, and everyone was evacuated from the lounge immediately.
The lounge incurred no damage and it is still operating, business as usual.
Three rooms suffered some smoke damage and there is some water damage to the hotel from the sprinkler system. 11 Alive.com reports that "Several residents required assistance from the Red Cross," but neither Culkin, nor Harvey have any knowledge of anyone requiring Red Cross assistance.
(Photo by Chad Radford)
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