Hotel on Pownal re-opens several rooms after blaze Wednesday night

Mitch MacDonald
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Keith Samuel, general manager of the Hotel on Pownal, stands in front of the building Thursday after helping clean up from a fire in the basement Wednesday night.

A refresher in fire safety training couldn’t have come at a better time for the staff at the Hotel on Pownal.

The hotel, located at 146 Pownal Street, had to evacuate after an electrical panel caught ablaze shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday. The blaze ultimately resulted in Maritime Electric disconnecting power to 3,000 customers in the area.

Hotel general manager Keith Samuel said the building, which has stood since 1960, had a major renovation three years ago where a new fire system was installed. That system’s alarm was triggered by the fire and alerted the nearby Charlottetown Fire Department of the blaze.

Samuel added hotel staff had also participated in fire training last week.

“We do it every six months since it's good to refresh everyone’s memory,” added Samuel, speaking to The Guardian from the hotel Thursday. “You don’t want to put anyone at risk.”

No one was injured in the fire Wednesday night.

With the building’s main electrical panel being on fire, Maritime Electric was called to the scene to disconnect the power to the entire circuit.

Once the hotel’s electricity was isolated by Maritime Electric, power was returned to affected customers.

Samuel added that the approximate 16 patrons who had been staying in 12 rooms at the hotel were all relocated to the Great George and Rodd Charlottetown Hotel that night.

With much of the damage being from smoke and the hotel being split into three “zones,” part of the hotel had re-opened by Thursday. While the main lobby and parking lot areas have re-opened, the conference section was most affected by the incident.

Samuel said he expected ServiceMaster would begin restoration sometime Thursday.

With a busy weekend approaching, Samuel added some guests have been relocated to the Great George.

“Next week is a little quieter, so we’ll actually be OK,” he said. “We appreciate the Rodd Charlottetown and Great George helping us out so much by putting up our guests.”

Samuel added he’s unsure when the hotel will completely re-open and added it could range from a week to sometime after Christmas.

“It’s just a matter of waiting and seeing,” he said.

Organizations: Maritime Electric, Hotel, Charlottetown Fire Department

Geographic location: 146 Pownal Street, Charlottetown

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