BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A structure fire in Downtown Bakersfield left 30 people displaced.
The fire started a little after two in the morning.
“I was lying down asleep, you know and then I hear ‘fire, fire, fire’ you know,” Joseph Jones a Hart Hotel resident said. “Then everyone started rushing people out and people started saving people from upstairs and bringing people out. They did have an emergency exit open so everyone was able to exit out of there.”
A few residents say the manager and his family rushed into action to help save the older tenants.
“They literally had to bang on doors and break them down just to usher people out because they weren’t waking up you know they’re old,” Jones said.
The Hart Hotel was last inspected and passed by Bakersfield Fire Department less than month ago. BFD says the building wasn’t required to have a sprinkler system but did have working smoke alarms.
The Hart Hotel shares a wall with the Mission Hotel. The Mission Hotel was closed about two years ago for the same reason, a structure fire. BFD says the damage to Hart Hotel could be extensive.
“So they had multiple showers running on the third floor and when they had evacuated the structure they left the showers going,” Brian Bowman with Bakersfield Fire Department said. “Those also overflowed and flooded into the third floor. So between our water and the water from the building itself there could be extensive water damage.”
The hotel put up its tenants in a motel after the fire but now tenants who paid $550 say they are confused, displaced and desperately looking for somewhere to go.
“They only put us up for one night and my understand was that we were supposed to stay there until the place gets fixed,” Lisa King another Hart Hotel resident said.
“What’s going to happen? We’re already in a bad place you know in a bad time and with the whole pandemic going on so like where are we going to stay you know,” Jones said.
As of now it’s not known what started the fire but thankfully no one was injured.
The Hart Hotel will remain closed until further notice.