DANA POINT — Fire investigators believe that the soldering of water pipes at the Dana Point Harbor Inn’s south building that occurred on Tuesday, Feb. 11 was the probable cause of the three-alarm fire that enveloped much of the hotel building at 8:11 p.m. that night.
The Orange County Fire Authority received a call at 8:12 p.m. from the hotel as well as other people. When crews arrived the fire had spread in two hotel rooms, with heavy smoke coming from the second floor. Paramedic engine 29 was the first on the scene.
“We requested additional resources which were the total of three alarms and 85 firefighters,” said Capt. Steve Concialdi of Orange County Fire Authority. There was water, smoke and fire damage to 10 of 22 units.
The 30 guests staying in the north building at the time of the fire were displaced to other local accommodations in the area. Red Cross was also on the scene.
While no injuries were reported, the fire caused $450,000 in damage to the structure and $100,000 in damage to the contents, Capt. Concialdi said.
The fire, which was believed to be started some time before any witnesses had noticed, most likely started by extremely hot material via smoldering flame.
“When [plumbers] smolder, an extremely hot flame is used, what probably happened is some hot material dropped and found something combustible or a wood structure and started the fire,” Capt. Cocialdi said. “Obviously they weren’t there otherwise they would have extinguished it; when plumbers solder they are required to have extinguishers on hand.”
Firefighters extinguished the fire from ventilation holes that they cut into the roof of the building.