New Hampshire

NH Investigators Complete Investigation Into Red Jacket Resort Fire

The cause of the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort fire is undetermined but investigators did not uncover any evidence or information that led them to believe the fire had been intentionally set, according to the state fire marshal's office

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An investigation into a massive fire that destroyed much of The Red Jacket Mountain View Resort in North Conway, New Hampshire, and forced the popular hotel to cancel all bookings through Labor Day, has been completed, officials announced Friday.

Following an examination of the fire-ravaged resort, as well as interviews with hotel guests and people who witnessed the fire, New Hampshire State Fire Marshal Sean Toomey said in a press release that the cause of the April 30 blaze has been listed as undetermined.



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"An undetermined cause classification means that the cause of the fire could not be proven to an acceptable level of certainty," Toomey said.

Fire investigators, however, did not uncover any evidence or information that led them to believe the fire had been intentionally set, or that a crime had been committed, Toomey added.

Flames engulfed the second and third floors of a wing of the hotel. Fire investigators say there were no sprinklers in that section where the fire started.

The fire marshal's office said it fielded several questions regarding the hotel's fire protection systems and wanted to address what was in place at the time flames broke out.

Investigators determined that the hotel guest rooms were furnished with local, hardwired smoke alarms with battery back-up, in addition to a fire alarm system heat detector.

According to Toomey, the smoke alarms were designed to sound only in the individual guest rooms once activated, and the heat detector would set off the building fire alarm system, also once activated.

The main hallways of the hotel were equipped with fire alarm system smoke detectors and alarm notification devices such as horn/strobes.

There was not a complete automatic sprinkler system in the south wing of the hotel, where the blaze started, and this type of sprinkler system was not required in existing hotels that are not considered a high-rise.

"Automatic sprinkler systems in new hotels became a fire code requirement in 1991 for buildings that are not high-rises," Toomey said.

Two firefighters and one other person were injured in the blaze, the state fire marshal's office said. They are expected to be okay.

The mighty fire left several people injured, including two firefighters and two civilians, and destroyed large portions of the resort. Videos shared online showed smoke and flames coming out of rooms on the second and third floors of the hotel, and people were also seen jumping from third-story balconies to escape the flames.

Firefighters from more than 20 area communities helped battle the large blaze, which was made more challenging by. strong wind gusts.

Some hotel rooms were completely charred, and damage was extensive following the blaze. A representative for the resort announced in late May that all reservations through Sept. 5 were being cancelled, apologizing for the inconvenience and saying hotel officials hoped to reopen as soon as possible. The resort remains closed more than 2.5 months after the fire tore through the hotel.

Photos: Massive Fire Burning at Popular Red Jacket Resort in North Conway, NH

The resort is a family retreat in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and is home to Kahuna Laguna, a popular indoor water park.

No further information is being released at this time. Anyone with information on this fire is asked to contact the state fire marshal's office at 603-223-4289.

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