The great downtown D.C. hotel fire that wasn't, in tweets
Hail Vulcan, god of fire! Next time you decide to incinerate a tiny fraction of downtown, a little notice please? Because we did not know about the “spectacular” blaze somewhere around the Willard InterContinental and the W last night until it was pretty much over — a massive failure that is sure to get a Frio in the near future.
OK, the Great Chicago Fire it was not. But the underground transformer blaze that forced the evacuation of the Willard and W hotels in downtown Washington on Saturday night did cause quite a stir on Twitter. And some typos. Herewith, some of the tweets from our firebug readership, including a few from Dave Jamieson and Sommer Mathis, two of the few TBD staffers who didn’t sleep through this epochal event.
Lead us out of the Willard-ness and into the “Lost” references:
@frankgruber: Just evacuated the W Hotel DC POV because of black smoke. Don't know what is on fire.
@dcfireems: Update b14th & F St NW - near Willard Hotel - underground transformer - - area streets closed - fire extending to bldg
@ethom00: Fire is at Willard an W hotel. Generator under the Willard blew up. People evacuated in their bathrobes!
Cue the omigods!:
I’m still gonna get my USA Today at dawn, right?:
@dcfireems: update - Willard guests still evacuated - W Hotel will be reoccupied shortly - no inj - evacuations went smoothly
Of all our reportorial failures last night, this is probably the greatest: Why are there no pictures of this?:
@fmfaruq: Side note: I feel really bad for the women in bathrobes that were clearly evacuated while showering or at the spa. #WHotelDC
The hotel took to Twitter to reassure the world that bathrobe-clad masses would not be swarming downtown much longer:
@WillardHotel: Fire btwn Willard & W Hotels Willard not on fire, hotel guests evacuated nearly clear for return #willardhotel
about 15 hours ago via web RoseLeaves
But there was some cultural damage: A dangerous precedent may have been set. First sign of a massive explosion and they CLOSE THE BAR?:
@TBDOnFoot: Willard bartender: been working here twenty years. First time he's ever had to leave his post. 'Could see fire from manholes!'
And then it turned out it was Michael Bay’s fault. Are we really gonna let those robots have their run of the Mall?:
@fmfaruq: Latest update is that there was apparently a transformer that exploded underground, meanwhile smoke is still coming out of #WHotelDC
@welovedc: WTF is up with the underground transformer fires?
Fortunately, no celebrities were injured:
@TBDOnFoot: @pattonOswalt tells tbd in wake of evac: 'tell them Patton oswalt is doing fine. But his liver is in despair.'
Amazingly, it took at least one of our reporters this long to find the bar:
@sommermathis: Just arrived at the Williard/W Hotels. Behold, the devastation!
@sommermathis: Couldn't be more quiet at the Willard. The bar, sadly, closes at 1 a.m., even on nights without an underground electrical fire.
But we’ll always have the memories:
@DMcGPhotography: Escaped the fiery flames at the Willard hotel with Bridget&Rick, 8 pizza w/the guests&winged it @the NPC, wow what a wedding!
The wedding! The wedding, we DID get.
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