At least 6 people were rescued from a Playa del Carmen hotel early Tuesday morning after a short circuit caused a fire to break out at the property. Paramedics were on the scene and no life-threatening injuries were reported, although the property suffered extensive material damages.
Firefighters rushed to the scene from late Monday to early Tuesday after a fire was reported in the One Playa del Carmen hotel in downtown Playa del Carmen. After noticing thick smoke – thought to have originated from a problem in the hotel’s electrical wiring – hotel staff quickly notified firefighters of the incident. Authorities have begun a preliminary investigation into the accident, which fortunately did not cause any deaths or severe injuries.
Firefighters say the fire likely started on the hotel’s upper floor, where many of its electrical systems are found, although investigations are still at a preliminary stage. It is believed that a short circuit caused a transformer to blow up, causing the fire to spread rapidly throughout a part of the hotel.
According to media reports, the hotel’s employees reacted quickly to the fire, applying the right protocol to put out as much of the fire as they could. Upon reaching the hotel, firefighters helped contain the remaining fire, avoiding further damage to the property, although a large part of the electrical wiring seems to have been severed extensively.
All of the guests were evacuated from the hotel’s premises after the fire broke out. Despite a mostly successful evacuation, at least 6 guests were reportedly stuck on the hotel’s upper floor, unable to reach the emergency exits due to the presence of smoke. This prompted firefighters to perform an emergency evacuation, with several rescue personnel suffering smoke inhalation.
Fortunately, all of the trapped guests were rescued, and no visible injuries were reported afterward, although 4 individuals received medical attention from on-site paramedics. Some of the firefighters battling the flames suffered from smoke inhalation, and were taken to a nearby hospital to receive further medical attention.
Meanwhile, police officers cornered the nearby street as tourists gathered near the hotel to get a glimpse of the action. Several neighboring buildings reported blackouts as a result of the short circuit, which seems to have caused interruptions in the area’s electrical supply. Onlookers took pictures and videos at the scene of the fire, which were circulating on social media.
Located only some 50 meters from the city hall, One Playa del Carmen is a popular hotel in the Caribbean resort town. The budget-friendly 3-star hotel has 108 rooms and offers nightly rates from $55 per night.
The frightening accident is a startling reminder of the importance of adequate fire safety, especially in large hotels, which may have hundreds of tourists at a time. Although rare, fires are known to break out occasionally at hotels in the Mexican Caribbean. Earlier this year, more than 80 people were evacuated from Amaite Hotel and Spa in Holbox Island after a fire broke out in the property’s restaurant.
Hotels and resorts are required by law to have fire and smoke detectors, as well as an extensive list of fire safety-related equipment on hand. Hotel employees also undergo routine training should a fire break out. On the other hand, authorities have pointed out that guests staying at online vacation rentals face more risks since those properties aren’t required to comply with stringent regulations.
For now, authorities are still investigating Tuesday’s incident and determining the exact cause of the fire. It remains unclear to which extent the property was damaged, and whether the hotel will be able to welcome guests.
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