A wall of flames could be seen from the roof of the Mount Royal Hotel in Banff in the early hours of Thursday morning and crews continued to douse hot spots over six hours after the fire started.
The blaze was finally out and Banff Avenue had reopened to traffic as of 2 p.m.
“We had a tough go of it this morning but things are well under control now,” Banff Fire Chief Silvio Adamo said at noon.
“We’re just…going through the debris, making sure there’s no remaining embers, no extension to any other areas of the hotel and putting out small ember fires if there are any.”
Officials told Global’s Jayme Doll an RCMP officer driving by the hotel around 2:30 a.m. was the one to spot flames shooting out of the roof. Luckily, the fire department is located right across the street.
“Three RCMP members then entered the hotel, where smoke was beginning to fill the halls,” RCMP said in a statement. “They activated the fire alarm and began evacuating guests from the third and fourth floors of the hotel.”
Watch below: Global viewer Andrew Young sent in this video of the fire at the historic Mount Royal Hotel in Banff.
Adamo said the fire mainly impacted an area on the fourth floor, which was extremely damaged.
Watch below: Global’s Jayme Doll arrived at Mount Royal Hotel just after 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning where fire crews were battling a blaze at the Banff hotel.
Additional crews, including the Canmore Fire-Rescue agency and firefighters from Exshaw and Lake Louise, arrived by 4 a.m. to help support the Banff Fire Department.
Doll arrived on scene just before 8 a.m. and said at the time that the roof of the hotel was still causing problems for firefighters.
“A huge plume of smoke can be seen above the Banff townsite,” she said.
Adamo said 256 guests were evacuated and relocated to other hotels in Banff. All of the guests were uninjured and given food vouchers so they could eat.
Many fled the hotel without shoes or jackets and some were still in their pyjamas.
“We’re gathering critical information from guests, whether it’s needed medication, etc. and we’ll start going in there with firefighters and getting that type of critical stuff that they need,” Adamo said at noon. “After that, we’re working on getting anything unaffected on the lower floors to the guests.”
Watch below: Just before 9 a.m., Global’s Jayme Doll had an update from the scene, where she was wearing a mask to protect herself from the smoke in the air. Crews had been battling the fire at the Mount Royal Hotel for over six hours.
Police said fire investigators will work with RCMP to determine the cause of the fire in the coming days.
With files from Global’s Jayme Doll