Fire drives 3 wedding parties out of PTC’s Wyndham hotel
While three weddings were being celebrated at the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center Saturday night, a fire broke out in the sauna area near the rear of the facility, forcing a temporary evacuation while firefighters spent several hours making sure the fire was completely extinguished.
Hotel and wedding guests didn’t have to spend long in the heat, however, as fire officials allowed them to congregate on the conference center side of the building, far away from the area affected by the fire.
A fire sprinkler mostly held the flames at bay, though the fire extended around the sprinkler and went above the sauna area, extending to the area above several of the racquetball courts, said Assistant Fire Chief Joe O’Conor.
The sprinklers did help keep the fire from extending into the second floor, O’Conor said. The fire was first spotted by a maintenance staffer who pulled a fire alarm around 8:30 p.m., O’Conor said.
With a crew of 30 city personnel and an additional three from the Fayette County Fire Department, firefighters knocked on the doors of each room to make sure all in the area were evacuated as others laid several water lines inside the building to attack the flames from inside, O’Conor said.
While all available paid and volunteer city firefighters were on the scene, the county fire department sent an engine and ambulance to be on standby for any other calls that might have occurred at the time, O’Conor said.
It took a while for firefighters to be thorough and find all the hot spots, O’Conor said. Using a thermal imaging camera to find the hidden hot spots, crews had to break through ceiling tiles, wallboard and some hidden areas to make sure all the flames were out, O’Conor said.
Meanwhile the hotel turned its hospitality into overdrive, keeping its displaced guests not just in the air conditioning but in comfort, providing TVs, drinks and other services to counter the inconvenience.
A Fayette resident who wishes to remain unnamed was there when the fire broke out and told The Citizen that the Wyndham “could write the book on how well they treated us. They were real accommodating.”
The fire damage was contained to the health center, but the smoke damage extended beyond that, O’Conor said. After the flames were out, fire crews worked to remove smoke from the building before turning it back over to hotel personnel a little after midnight, O’Conor said.
The fire left soot on clothes and even entered dresser drawers in guest rooms, the residents said. Guests for whom the soot and smell were intolerable were moved by Wyndham staff to another hotel, the resident said.
The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Peachtree City Fire Marshal’s office.