A two-alarm fire caused heavy damage to a small coffee and souvenir shop located within the atrium lobby of the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal, forcing evacuation of the hotel and closure of the shop.
Normal Fire Department received a 9-1-1 call from the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center at 201 Broadway Street at 7:33 Thursday morning, reporting a fire in the Marketplace Café in the atrium lobby of the hotel. A hotel employee attempted to extinguish the fire with a portable fire extinguisher, but within a few moments the fire sprinklers in the café reached their activation temperature and began flowing water to slow the spread.
The building alarm sounded and hotel employees assisted in the safe evacuation of guests safely. There were no injuries reported.
Firefighters arrived shortly after the sprinkler activation and reported limited visibility due to smoke conditions in the lobby. A second alarm was struck, which adds an additional engine company, a truck company, and an ambulance to the initial responding units.
The atrium smoke evacuation system activated and began rapidly ventilating the smoke from the atrium while firefighters pulled hoses into the building to extinguish the fire. The fire was deemed out in about 25 minutes. Firefighters searched and extinguished hot spots and used tools to open up the ceiling space and some of the wall spaces within the café to look for fire hidden in the void spaces.
There is heavy fire damage within the café itself, and water damage throughout the lobby. A dollar estimate of the damage is not available until an insurance adjuster has an opportunity to survey the property.