Fire damages diner, nearby hotel evacuated in Chester

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A fire that damaged a diner caused the hotel next door to be evacuated in Chester, Pennsylvania. (WPVI)

A fire that damaged a diner caused the hotel next door to be evacuated in Chester, Pennsylvania.

The blaze started around 3 a.m. Tuesday at the Grape Leaves Diner on the 1300 block of Edgemont Avenue.

The fire quickly spread to two alarms. Most of the fire was showing in the roof area of the diner.

As crews started to battle the fire, smoke seeped into the adjacent Days Inn.

"I heard the alarm going off, I smelled smoke. I came down here to ask what was wrong," said hotel guest Mary Fisher.

When the fire chief learned the smoke was filling up rooms and hallways, he made the call to evacuate the hotel.

"We pulled the fire alarm, because I didn't hear that going off either when we got here, and then I had a crew assist the hotel staff go room-to-room to make sure everyone was out of the hotel," said Chief Joseph Iacono.

PHOTOS: Diner fire in Chester

One guest said the smoke woke her up.

"It was very smoky. All the hallways were smoky. It was hard to get out," said Sandra Gagnon.

For several hours guests sat in the lobby or in their cars until they were allowed back to their rooms around 5:15 a.m.

As it got later, and lighter, the extent of the damage became clear: The charred and broken roof, a smoke detector dangling from the ceiling, debris strewn out front.

No one was injured.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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