Firefighters were called to the Best Western Premier hotel at 3559 College Ave. in Alton at 9:18 p.m. Friday for a one-room fire.
According to authorities, a fire in the couch of an unoccupied room set off the hotel’s sprinkler system, which extinguished the blaze before firefighters arrived. The hotel immediately evacuated more than 100 people including those who had gathered for a function in a meeting room and a 10-year-old’s birthday pool party.
Tired guests wanting to sleep stood and sat outside of the hotel on all four sides. Firefighters scrambled to shut off the sprinkler system as water poured out of the room and into the first floor hallway.
The room was reported to have been heavily damaged. Fire department officials on Friday night said they had not determined how the fire started in the unoccupied room.
Firefighters made sure the fire was completely out before guests were allowed back in the hotel at 10:01 p.m.
The night wasn’t a complete disappointment, as firefighters let the birthday girl and her guests sit in a fire truck before they left.
The cause of the fire is under investigation; no injuries were reported.