Approximately 250 people were evacuated from the 419-room Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine Wednesday morning, October 7. Smoldering cigarette butts ignited towels on a housekeeper’s cart in a hallway on the fourth floor.
A 46-year-old female found in a stairwell had suffered smoke inhalation and was sent to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest, said Maurice Luque, spokesman for the San Diego Fire Department. Thirty-five firefighters, five engines, and three trucks were sent to the scene.
It’s unknown whether a hotel guest or staff placed an ashtray with the butts in the cart, and no further investigation will be needed, Luque said.
The incident caused an estimated $150,000 in damage, mostly from sprinkler water damage on the fourth floor. The water traveled through the elevator shafts, causing damage to the first floor.