Emergencies occur when they are least expected. During these events, seconds count demanding decisive and immediate action by hotel associates. The safe, orderly, and quick evacuation of the hotel guests and associates must be the number one priority. A well-developed emergency plan with proper and continuous routine employee training is all-too-important to ensure that all employees understand their roles and responsibilities during a crisis. Knowing what to do and how to do it is crucial to savings lives, fewer injuries, and less structural damage to the facility. KCOY, KEYT, KKFX, Kelsey Gerckens shares the experience of one hotel guest during the Port Hueneme, Casa Via Mar Inn fire.
A fire gutted a wing of a Port Hueneme hotel. The fire was first reported just before 5:30 Monday morning at the Casa Via Mar Inn on West Channel Islands Boulevard.
Two people were being treated for smoke inhalation following the fire. One of them was Joeann Aguilar.
“It was really scary because they put me in an ambulance and then they had my kids and you don’t know where everybody is at. Everything is dark and sirens and everyone is running all over the place,” said Aguilar.
The Aguilar family was sleeping in their hotel room at the Casa Via Mar Inn when someone started pounding on their door.
“So we opened up the front door and that is when all the smoke started coming in and I couldn’t find my two boys. Everything was black we couldn’t see anything,” said Aguilar.
As flames consumed the hotel room just a few doors down, Joeann, who is expecting another child this week, gathered up her children and did what she could to escape the flames.
“I was trying to go downstairs and there was people rushing behind you, and I am trying to balance myself and then I have my two boys and I am trying not to slip and fall and that is when, you are just looking around and you see these big flames coming out, firemen on top of the roof. You see people trying to kick in the door because no one is answering,” said Aguilar.
Everyone was able to safely escape the hotel, but Joeann and her son were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
Fire investigators are still looking into what started the fire, several hotel rooms were damaged in the blaze.
Aguilar is doing much better hours after the fire. She says thing could have been much worse if it wasn’t for the hotel cook that pounded on their door early in the morning alerting them of the fire.