PEI

Air conditioning malfunction may have caused Charlottetown hotel fire

A fire last week at Canada's Best Value Inn in Charlottetown has been ruled accidental, possibly related to arcing in an air conditioning system.

Fire patterns, witness statements suggest fire started accidentally

The fire started in either the living area or the bathroom of a motel unit at Canada's Best Value Inn, fire officials said last week. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

A fire last week at Canada's Best Value Inn in Charlottetown has been ruled accidental. 

The Tuesday evening fire displaced 24 people who were self-isolating at the hotel under COVID-19 public health orders.

Nobody was injured, and the isolating guests were moved to another location. 

Charlottetown fire inspector Kent Mitchell said the probable cause of the fire was an electrical malfunction connected with the air conditioning system.

"It's a mechanical system, so there's some components within the system that could actually arc and cause a fire," he said Monday. "Our analysis of the scene, it pointed in that direction with fire patterns and whatnot, and some witness statements as well."

Most of the damage was confined to a block of 16 motel units at the Capital Drive business, eight in front and eight in back. 

Mitchell said people should always follow maintenance instructions for their air conditioning or heating systems and have them checked on a regular basis.

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With files from Angela Walker

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