St. Charles Hotel fire quickly contained |

St. Charles Hotel fire quickly contained


A mattress in a St. Charles Hotel room caught fire Monday morning, causing an evacuation of the building and a 1 1/2 hour closure of a portion of South Carson Street.

The fire, allegedly sparked by a cigarette, was reported just before noon and remained confined to Room 305 of the historic building. Damage was described as minor, and no one was injured.

When manager Sherry Perry heard a report of smoke on the top floor, she helped clear out guests who were in the vicinity. Some guests left when they heard fire crews arrive.

At least three third-floor rooms, and several businesses on the second floor were evacuated.

“The man in 302 come down to get toilet paper and said he smelled smoke upstairs,” Perry said.

Perry’s granddaughter, Julie Tom, and guest Sandy Hoffman were among those evacuated while fire crews put out the blaze and inspected the building for safety.

“I didn’t see a flame or anything,” Hoffman said. “Just smoke. It was about as thick as a foggy day.”

Tom waited for the OK to go back inside, shivering in a towel and bathrobe. She was pulled out of the shower by her concerned grandmother. She said the hotel’s maintenance man lived in the room where the fire originated.

Cafe Del Rio, a relative newcomer to the building, was not threatened. The restaurant was forced out of its old location by a fire in April 1998.

Carson City Battalion Chief Richard Chrzanowski said three engines stood by while the fire was quickly contained. “This appears to be non-arson, man-caused,” he said.

Guests and workers were allowed back in after the city’s building department and utility workers inspected the building for safety.

The St. Charles Hotel has operated under six different names since it was opened in 1862. It is one of the oldest landmarks in Carson City.

Traffic on Highway 395, which is Carson Street as it goes through downtown, was rerouted to side streets while firefighters were on the scene.