Hundreds evacuated from Regent Taipei in fire scare

Taipei--Hundreds of people were evacuated from the Regent Taipei hotel early Saturday morning after a fire broke out in the five-star hotel's basement, the Taipei City Fire Department said.

The fire broke out at around 3 a.m. in a stockroom of one of the luxury boutiques in the hotel's basement shopping arcade, resulting in thick smoke billowing through parts of the hotel, according to the department.

The fire was extinguished in around an hour, it said. Authorities were still investigating the cause of the fire as of Saturday afternoon.

Hundreds of guests at the hotel, many wearing only thin clothing, were rushed to safety, while some awaited rescue in their rooms due to the thick smoke.

Much of the merchandise stored in the shop's stockroom was destroyed in the fire, but there were no injuries, authorities said. Local media reported, however, that two guests suffered from minor cases of smoke inhalation.

Hotel executive Ellen Chang (??) said the evacuated guests were allowed to return to their hotel rooms at around 5 a.m. after the fire was brought under control.

She said restaurants in the hotel were closed at noon to limit the strain on the facility's emergency power generators, which were being used to supply power to guest rooms and elevators.

Normal power was expected to be restored in the afternoon.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel