‘Twas the weeks before Christmas in Costa Mesa, California, but the Westin South Coast Plaza had a Christmas tree fire so bad that everyone was stirring. The hotel residents were all nestled all snug in their beds, until the 96-foot towering inferno destroyed all the expensive ornaments down to mere threads.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, check out our 2015 guide for buying and preserving the perfect Christmas tree this year.
Costa Mesa fire and police officials responded to the Westin Coast Coast Plaza fire on Friday, after receiving an alarmed 911 call from a valet parker and a maintenance worker early in the day. Officials said the maintenance worker was power washing in the area when there arose such a clatter, that he turned around to see what was the matter.
Unfortunately, before his wondering eyes did appear, a towering Christmas tree fire inspiring fear. The worker sprang into action when he realized the large popping sound was a horrible sight, and he flew like a flash to report this great fright.
The Costa Mesa fire department got their men away out in a dash, but not fast enough to stop the Westin Christmas tree from turning to ash. As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, reports say the flames sent up plumes of smoke high into the sky.
“Witnesses state there was a loud pop about two-thirds of the way up the Christmas tree, which was on fire,” said Costa Mesa fire Captain Chris Coates, according to City News Service. “You could see the smoke column from miles away.”
The Costa Mesa firefighters put out the California Christmas tree fire with no excess, and the fact that there was no injuries is quite the success. This story might end on a more serious note as you might agree, since Costa Mesa police Sgt. Matt Selinske said “there was not much left of the tree.”
All in all, this is probably the most expensive pile of Santa’s coal ever, since the Orange County Register reports the 96-foot, 10-ton white fir cost the hotel $120,000 in their great endeavor. The problem is greater than usual due to the high price of the California drought, and since 90 percent of seedlings died this year, another solution for the great tree will need to be sought.
“The plan moving forward is to have a company come out, cut off the top of the tree where it seems to be non-secure, put a collar around it, shave of all the branches and put vertical lighting on it so that it looks like a Christmas tree,” Coates said. “So we’ll still enjoy Christmas with a tree…. They’re trying to make the best of a bad situation.”
Working with the South Coast Plaza security, a fire investigator has responded to the scene, and no report knows what the surrounding surveillance video footage may yet mean. Although the enormous flames left quite a bit of smoky scent, the fire department currently believes the Christmas tree fire to be a mere accident.
“Preliminary indications are not leading us to believe it’s suspicious in nature. However, you can’t rule that out right now,” Coates said.
Now, dear reader, as you draw away your sight, may I might add, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
— Kevin Putz (@kevputz) December 14, 2015
(Photo by Ryan Miller/Invision/AP Images)