By Rashad Rolle
Tribune Staff Reporter
MORE than 100 tourists were evacuated from the exclusive One and Only Ocean Club at Atlantis on Saturday after the building’s roof caught fire.
Fire services chief Walter Evans said arson has been ruled out as a possible cause and investigations into the fire are continuing.
However, an eyewitness told The Tribune a $16,000 firework display was to blame for the fire.
“The fireworks started at 10 pm,” the witness said. “It caught onto the roof and it was rough because no one even knew about it until like 10:25 pm. The wind caused the fire to spread to the roof because the firework display was happening so close to the building.”
The roof of two blocks in the building, the 30s block and the 50s block, caught fire, he said, adding: “Tourists were inside – 102 people had to be evacuated. Babies were there.”
“The tourists were riled up. They carried on. Staff always warned that the fire hydrant couldn’t get there, but nobody listened,” The Tribune was told.
About 35 per cent of the roof in the 30s block was destroyed as was about 20 per cent of the roof in the 50s block, he said, adding that guests were moved from the Ocean Club to the Reef and other hotels.
Mr Evans said operations at the hotel are continuing as usual after the fire and that “no major damage” had been done to the two-story structure.
He said officers responded to the call about the fire around 11:30 pm Saturday and took only a few minutes to extinguish the flames.
No one was injured, he said.