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Hotel Evacuation? Sounds Fun.

Until recently, I have never been in a fire or an actual evacuation due to a fire.  I have been in countless fire drills, been told how to evacuate a school / house / plane / bus / hotel in case of fire, but I was never unfortunate enough to put my training to the test.

...until last week.

Last week I was doing a ride along with a VIP.  He is a manufacturer rep, and actually more of an executive than a rep.  We covered Wyoming and Idaho in one day, and were ending the night in Missoula Montana.

750 miles and 13.5 hours after the work day started, our day finally ended.  We pulled into the hotel, checked in, wound down, settled in our own respective rooms, when...


The alarm was going off.

I had just drifted off to sleep, and my TV hadn't quite turned off (sleep mode rocks) when the alarms started.

I woke up, and initially thought it was the TV.  The movie trailer for Prometheus was on, and the annoying siren-music on the trailer sounded a lot like the alarm.

So I turned down the volume.

The noise wasn't going away.

Finally, I put on some decent clothes, grabbed the essentials (room key, wallet, phone for pictures) and inspected the door.  Not hot.  I looked outside.

Smoke.  Everywhere.

Like everyone else, I evacuated.  There were dozens of people already outside (including a few hotties in only robes) and we all herded together.  I found my VIP ride-mate, and we laughed about the situation.  "You really know how to show a guy a good time, Brandon" he quipped.

Then the fire trucks came...

The night manager did a head count and assured all the patrons that we would receive some sort of recompense for the situation.

We were also assured that, although smoke was a-plenty, there were no flames.

Apparently, one of the dryers exploded.  At least, that's what we were told.

An hour later (in 44 degree weather) we were finally given the all-clear and told to go back inside.  On and off for the next 30 minutes, they tested the alarms to make sure they were working properly.  Around 3:30, after everything was said and done, and nerves finally calmed, I was finally able to get to sleep.

...and start my day around 6:30.

The next day, I checked out.  The manager on duty gave me my invoice, apologized for the night before, and wished me well.  No recompense, no discount, no comped room.  I was slightly miffed, but in a hurry, so I didn't have time to argue.

On my way out, I noticed this sign and laughed:

Ironic much?
I stay at this La Quinta whenever I'm in Missoula.  They've been good to me until this last trip, so I'm a little torn.  The next time I'm in town, I may shop around to other hotels...

The moral of this story?

CLEAN YOUR LINT TRAPS OFTEN!!  A hotel manager friend of mine mentioned this was likely the cause of the problem, and happens more often than you'd think.

Needless to say, when I got home after my long trip, I went straight to my dryer and cleaned that fucking trap.

Have you ever had something like this happen?  What did you do?  What did the hotel do?
Please Share it! :)

16 witty retorts:

Matthew MacNish said...

The house across the street from us burned to the ground when I was a kid. It was terrifying, but also fascinating.

Just Keepin It Real, Folks! said...

Oh God, so very sorry!!!!! Yes, one time my family was staying at a Holiday Inn Express for one of those God awful travel baseball tournaments for my son. One of the moms washed her son's jersey and hung it on the sprinkler head in her room which was clearly marked with a red X and it popped. When the sprinkler head popped, it flooded her room, set off the fire alarm and set off the sprinklers on the entire floor. The hotel flooded and was severly damaged. We all had to evacuate. Needless to say the hotel advised our team that we were NEVAH invited to stay there again during any further baseball tournaments.

Tony Van Helsing said...

I once knew a guy who was a Fire Safety officer. When he stayed in hotels he used to walk down the corridor of the floor he was staying on, running his hand along the wall and counting the doors before the fire exit so he could find his way in darkness and smoke. He was a good laugh.

Zombie said...

That would have freaked me the hell out! lol.

Lady Estrogen said...

ACK! There's no customer relations these days. Pssfft. COMP! COMP!

Adsila said...

Did they at least give you a free breakfast?

Brandon Lostinidaho said...

Yes, but that comes standard with the stay. or no fire...

The Management said...

You should call them and ask for some kind of comp. In my experience, hotels are usually pretty good about fixing mistakes- they fear negative online reviews. Mention an online review that you've got brewing in your head and see what they do. You might feel like a little bit of a jerk playing that card but I bet it works.

Also, I clean the lint trap every. time. I use the dryer because my mother saw me leave it full ONCE and she bitched so much that now I do it every time out of fear.

Also, for anyone who shares a dryer with other tenants or whatever, it just seems like the right thing to do, so I do it.

Utah L said...

My folks had a dryer fire once, and luckly they could see the vent from the living room window, and caught it right away before it burnt anything but the dryer.

Youngman Brown said...

This reminds me of an episode of Mad Men that I recently watched. I'm just glad you didn't see what Don Draper saw on his way down the fire escape...

Thank, Q said...

They didn't even offer to let you take a few rolls of tissue with you? What kind of hotel is this? I would not want to be in a hotel and have an alarm go off. When I was in Panama City last month, we stayed on the 17th floor. Imagine if we had to take the stairs because of an alarm? I think The Mrs. and I would have burnt up some where around the 10th floor.

Anonymous said...

I started a kitchen fire when I was cooking tacos. It was terrifying. I threw some flour on it, and saved my home from burning down.

P.J. said...

I can't believe you didn't get anything in return for this, especially because they told you that you would. I'd shop around for sure.

Hey Monkey Butt said...

Oh wow that is some crappy luck there. I have to clean our lint trap often out of fear. Our machine is as old as DIRT and the rare occasion that we forget to turn the dial off after we stop it manually it heats up like that. It's awful, haha.

G said...

Fire evacuations are never good...I once got caught up in one in Munich in the middle of winter. My one memory of it was seeing a bunch of women freezing their little buts off in the cold snow as they'd left in too much of a hurry and didn't consider the winter conditions.

Brandon Lostinidaho said...

I feel their pain. It was 44 degrees, misty (a little rain but not a lot) and I had on gym shorts (commando) and a t-shirt. No shoes.

I got the hell out of there. I decided on life instead of fashion, even though I really didn't need to rush.

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