Boiler explodes inside Union Station hotel

DENVER - Guests of the Crawford Hotel donned bathrobes and pajamas as they gathered outside of the newly renovated hotel, located at Union Station, after fire alarms gave them an early morning wake-up call Friday.

According to an assistant fire chief with the Denver Fire Department reluctantly used the term explosion, to describe what happened to one of two boilers in the basement of the hotel, but he said essentially that is what happened. A boiler exploded and caused a small fire.

The fire chief said the hotel's sprinkler system quickly put the fire out but there was a lot of smoke in the basement when firefighters arrived at the hotel shortly after 1 a.m.

Heidy Feinberg and her family are guests at the hotel and were in their room on the third floor when the fire alarm sounded overnight.

"I called down to the front desk. It took them several rings to answer. They said that there was a situation in the boiler room and we could evacuate if we wanted to or we could stay in the room."

Minutes later, Feinberg said hotel staff asked everyone to evacuate the building.

As the loud, repetitive alarms blared guest congregated in front of the hotel, some rested in patio furniture. Others stood and chatted among themselves.

The evacuees were allowed back inside the hotel just before 2 a.m.

The assistant fire chief on scene said there was a lot of damage to the brand new boiler and commented the hotel has their work cut out for them.

The Crawford Hotel issued a statement regarding the incident:

"Denver Union Station experienced an overheated boiler due to an electrical switch failure that caused high heat damage in a localized area early this morning. All systems functioned properly and the issue was immediately controlled by the zoned sprinkler system. Guests of The Crawford Hotel were briefly evacuated, but were quickly allowed to return to their rooms.

Denver Union Station was designed with a redundant double boiler system. The hot water at Denver Union Station was down for less than 1 hour.

All of the retail and restaurant outlets inside Denver Union Station will open today on their normal schedules. The Crawford Hotel is fully operational.

For more information on Denver Union Station, please visit​"

The Crawford Hotel opened July 26, almost three weeks before the explosion.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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