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Fire in Hotel Arts parkade forces guests to flee

CALGARY – Guests at a downtown hotel got an unexpected early morning wake-up call on Thursday, when a fire broke out in the underground parking garage.

Emergency crews were called to Hotel Arts (119 12 Ave S.W.) around 3:30 a.m.

They found a vehicle on fire in the parkade and evacuated the boutique hotel, forcing over 130 people to awake from their slumber and gather in the street.

Calgary Transit brought in a bus to keep evacuated guests warm, but most chose to stay inside the TransAlta building across the street which was opened up by security guards.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze, but say it left at least two levels of the parkade filled with smoke.

They used ventilation fans to clear the smoke, and guests were allowed back into the building after about two and a half hours.

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Hotel Arts says business is back to normal, and the underground parkade was reopened at 9:30 a.m.

The Calgary Police Service and the Calgary Fire Department are investigating the cause of the fire.

No injuries were reported.