News short: Firefighters respond to the fire that wasn’t

St. George firefighters respond to the call of a possible fire at the Hilton Garden Inn based on the smell of smoke on the fourth floor. However, when firefighters arrived and searched the hotel, they were unable to find any signs of a fire beyond what could have been the faint odor of burnt food, St. George, Utah, Oct. 18, 2016 | Photo Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Even though the St. George Fire Department responded with six firetrucks and 27 firefighters, what was initially reported as a structure fire at a hotel turned to be a false alarm Tuesday night. The reason for the mass response was the nature of the location.

At approximately 8:07 p.m., the St. George Fire Department was dispatched to the Hilton Garden Inn on Convention Center Drive after a member of the hotel’s maintenance crew smelled smoke on the fourth floor, St. George Fire Battalion Chief Ken Guard said. There were no signs of flames.

St. George firefighters responded to the call of a possible fire at the Hilton Garden Inn based on the smell of smoke on the 4th floor. However, when firefighters arrived and searched the hotel, they were unable to find any signs of a fire beyond what could have been the faint odor of burnt food, St. George, Utah, Oct. 18, 2016 | Photo Mori Kessler, St. George News
St. George firefighters respond to the call of a possible fire at the Hilton Garden Inn based on the smell of smoke on the fourth floor. However, when firefighters arrived and searched the hotel, they were unable to find any signs of a fire beyond what could have been the faint odor of burnt food, St. George, Utah, Oct. 18, 2016 | Photo Mori Kessler, St. George News

Similar to apartment complexes, hotels pack a lot of people into a small space, Guard said, and having the right amount of responding resources is crucial to protecting life and property. Having a large fire crew on hand also allows groups of firefighters to be rotated in and out of a fire depending on its duration.

“We have a heavy response to be safe,” Guard said.

However, while the department was prepared to combat a fire at the hotel, it wasn’t to be.

Firefighters checked each floor and rooftop heating and air unit but found nothing.

“There was still a slight odor, like someone had burnt food in a room, but we weren’t able to locate anything of significance,” Guard said.

Hotel guests did not have to be evacuated during the incident, though a couple did go outside to get photos of the firetrucks in the parking lot.

Fire units and personnel began to be released from the scene around 9 p.m.

If nothing else was accomplished for the evening, the firefighters had an impromptu training drill, and passers-by wondering why so many firetrucks were at the Hilton Garden Inn now have an answer.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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