Fire empties New Orleans hotel

Jan. 6, 2013 at 2:11 AM

NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A four-alarm fire at the InterContinental Hotel in New Orleans Saturday night sent all 600 guests scurrying to safety, fire officials said.

The fire, which started about 6:20 p.m. CST in a fourth-floor laundry room, caused no injuries, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported.

Between the hotel's sprinkler system and the suppression efforts of 90 firefighters, the blaze was contained to the one floor and brought under control by 8:30 p.m. The third floor, lobby and meeting spaces sustained water damage.

No guest rooms were damaged, but the smell of smoke was too strong to let people back into their rooms for more than a few minutes to retrieve their belongings, hotel spokesman Andrew Done said. The hotel was to be aired out Sunday.

Guests were moved to accommodations at four nearby hotels, Done said.

"It's too early to tell when people might be able to stay in the rooms again," he said.

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