Oily kitchen rags were the culprit behind the smoke that brought guests out of their hotel rooms late Sunday night at The Oread.
A basket of kitchen rags that had been washed and were sitting in the laundry room in the bottom level of the hotel spontaneously combusted, producing smoke, The Oread general manager Nancy Longhurst said Monday.
No injuries were reported.
Fire and medical crews received the call about 11:30 p.m. Sunday. When crews arrived at the 10-story hotel at 12th Street and Oread Avenue, they encountered heavy smoke and moderate heat, according to a press release from Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical.
Flames never appeared and smoke was contained to the downstairs of the recently opened hotel, Longhurst said. Sprinklers above the basket contained the fire.
The fire department estimated damage at $5,000.
“There’s a lot of cleanup that we haven’t started to work on yet,” Longhurst said.
While guests were called out of their rooms, they never left the building, Longhurst said. Guests remained in the lobby for about 45 minutes.
Because the fire was on a lower level and the smoke didn’t not travel to upper floors, a full evacuation of the hotel was not required.
The Oklahoma men’s basketball team was among guests reportedly staying at the hotel.
Mike Houck, director of communications and radio color analyst for Oklahoma men’s basketball team, said via his Twitter account that everyone had been allowed to return to their rooms just before 1 a.m.