Guests at Deauville Beach Resort displaced after fire

No injuries reported; hotel closes while firefighters inspect building

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Guests at a Miami Beach hotel were displaced early Tuesday morning because of a fire.

Miami Beach police said the Deauville Beach Resort on Collins Avenue was partially evacuated after there was a fire in the electrical room in the back of the hotel.

"That chiller was connected to the generator and a cable busted, and it caused big smoke in the alley," hotel manager Melissa Merulo said. 

Firefighters had to cut electricity to the hotel, but no injuries were reported.

"We got lucky," Miami Beach Fire Department Capt. Jorge Linares said. "It didn't spread to any part of the building. None of the smoke went inside either. It was just exterior."

About 700 guests were ushered out of the hotel in the early morning.

"I opened the door about a couple seconds after the alarm went off (and saw) there were people running up and down the hallway," Larry Barbara, who was visiting from Dallas, told Local 10 News.

"I was trying to find the light, but everything was out, everything was black," Corinne Adriaensen, who was visiting from the Netherlands, said. "There were people running up and down the hallway, running down the stairs."

The hotel, which was built in 1956, was closed for business for at least one day while firefighters conducted a thorough inspection of the building.

Dozens of people waited in the lobby while hotel staff worked to find them another place to stay.

Records show that city inspectors had handed out a violation for the portable chiller less than a week ago. 

An inspector noted that the hotel violated building code because of the "installation of portable chiller and associated equipment without first obtaining electrical permits."  

The city ordered the hotel to stop the "use of the chiller and associated equipment immediately."  

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