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UPDATE: Manager of Hotel 540 says evacuation couldn't have gone better

Kamloops Fire Rescue was called to Hotel 540 for a smoking elevator motor, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016.
August 25, 2016 - 12:53 PM

KAMLOOPS - A faulty elevator motor may be to blame for the full evacuation of a downtown Kamloops hotel yesterday.

Kamloops Fire Rescue crews had the streets surrounding Hotel 540 blocked off during the afternoon rush hour around 5:30 p.m., Aug. 25, while guests poured out of the hotel.

Hotel manager and vice president Bryan Pilbeam says the building's fire alarms were set off after smoke started pouring into the hallways from a service elevator.

Pilbeam says one of the motors in the elevator overheated, and although there was a lot of smoke, there were no flames.

"That smoke had nowhere to go," Pilbeam says.

Half of the hotel was full at the time, which meant 100 people had to evacuate the building. A Rocky Mountaineer train had just arrived in Kamloops, and staff were in the middle of checking the passengers into the hotel when alarms started ringing.

"I was really please with how it went," Pilbeam says. "My thanks to our team here at Hotel 540, Kamloops Fire Rescue and the Rocky Mountaineer team."

Pilbeam says the evacuation only lasted for about 10 to 15 minutes, and due to how successful it went, the hotel has no plans to change safety protocol, but they will keep a closer eye on the elevator motors.

Victoria Street was blocked off from 5 Avenue to 6 Avenue while fire crews were on the scene.

Fire crews blocked off a busy downtown Kamloops street during the afternoon rush hour, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016 after reports of smoke coming from an elevator shaft at Hotel 540.
Fire crews blocked off a busy downtown Kamloops street during the afternoon rush hour, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016 after reports of smoke coming from an elevator shaft at Hotel 540.

– This story was updated at 12:44 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 25, to include new information from the manager of Hotel 540.


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