ROCHESTER, Minn. – An ice machine is being blamed for a Wednesday hotel fire.
The Rochester Fire Department says it was called to Guest House Inn and Suites on 16th Avenue NW at 5:49 pm about a fire in a room next to the pool area. Firefighters arrived to find flames coming out of an ice machine had been put out by a hotel employee with a portable fire extinguisher. However, the machine was still turned on and smoking.
Firefighters cut off the electricity to the ice machine and ventilated the area.
The Fire Department says there was substantial smoke in the hall outside the ice machine room but automatic fire doors had closed off that section of the hotel. Guests had still been evacuated and were not allowed to return until air monitoring confirmed there was no longer any danger.
An estimated $10,000 in damage was done by this fire, with the ice machine destroyed and heavy smoke damage to the surrounding room. There was minor smoke damage in the adjacent hallway.
Rochester police and Gold Cross Ambulance assisted at the scene.
One employee was evaluated for smoke inhalation and released without need for transport or further evaluation.