Gas can linked to hotel inferno |

Gas can linked to hotel inferno

Fumes from an uncapped gas can likely caused the fire that leveled a Downieville hotel and damaged a home last month, authorities said Monday.

The gas can, which reportedly did not have a stopper, was being kept in a room at the south end of the Downieville Inn.

The 11-room hotel was reported on fire at about 9 p.m. March 15, and everything but the 70-year-old building’s frame burned to the ground. A two-story home next to the hotel also was severely damaged. Five people were staying at the hotel and escaped from the blaze.

According to the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office, gas fumes from the can filled up the room before escaping under the door. The fumes came in contact with a soft-drink machine and caused an explosion.

The hotel was insured, the owner said shortly after the fire.

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