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London’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel Goes Up In Flames, Now Closed Indefinitely: How To Survive A Hotel Fire

Travelers Today       By    Marlet Salazar

Updated: Jun 08, 2018 08:53 AM EDT

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Mandarin Hotel in London
A fire broke out at the Mandarin Hotel in Knightsbridge. Billows of smoke were seen from the nearby Hyde Park.
(Photo: Laura Tutu | Pixabay)

A fire broke out at five-star hotel Mandarin Oriental in London June 6. There are no immediate reports of injuries, and guests, including British singer Robbie Williams, were evacuated immediately.

About 20 fire engines and 120 firefighters headed to Knightsbridge when smoke started billowing from the top of the luxury hotel around 4 p.m. Firefighters from Battersea, Chelsea, Hammersmith, Kensington, and other nearby fire stations were dispatched at the scene.

Witnesses posted images on social media of the huge smoke coming from central London. Reports said the fire brigade received a call at 3:55 p.m. The Metropolitan Police and London Ambulance Service were also at the fire scene. The fire also affected the operations of nearby train stations.

The London Fire Brigade has not yet announced the cause of the fire.

Multimillion-Dollar Renovations

The property is located near Hyde Park and within the upscale Knightsbridge shopping district where Harrods is also situated. Rates per room start at £700 or $900 for one night, and suite rooms can go up to £2,300 or around $3,000.

The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, which is owned by a unit of Hong Kong-based firm Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd., was renovated recently. The conglomerate acquired the hotel in 2007 for £177 million or $238 million. Its value stands at £338 million or $454 million by the end of 2017 based on the data from the Land Registry.

The renovations added more touches of luxury to the 12-story hotel and its 181 rooms while maintaining its iconic facade. The group released a statement on May 29 taking pride at the refurbishment, saying the hotel's improvements made it even more elegant and luxurious than before.

Mandarin Oriental is closed indefinitely while authorities determine the cause of the fire and estimate the cost of damage.

Surviving A Hotel Fire

In an article published by The Washington Post, guests are advised to check their rooms and surrounding areas upon arrival.

The fire exit map, more often than not, is found at the back of the main door. Always check how far the room is from the fire exit. If possible, guests can do an ocular and check for the nearest fire exit from their rooms.

Guests must always know where to find their keys in case of emergency. They could place them at the bedside table or in the foyer if the room has one or anywhere where they can easily grab them.

In case of fire, the guide provides some easy tips to keep in mind. If the smoke has spread in the room, crawl down and get the keys. Try to grab the doorknob, but if it is already hot, it may indicate the fire is already within the corridor. If it is not hot, guests should open it and find the fire exit.

Don't use the elevator if the nearest exit is blocked. There should always be an alternative exit. If the fire or the smoke is coming from downstairs, try going up to the rooftop. Let the smoke out by opening the door. If the firefighters are visible from the top, send an SOS and wait for help.

The guide says that there are times that hotel guests have a better chance of surviving a fire by remaining in their rooms.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Loved By Guests Awards 2018

mandarin oriental london, knightsbridge, Hyde Park, central london, Harrods
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