Help California wildfire victims

Recently reopened Escondido motel closes again after fire

ESCONDIDO – An Escondido motel that re-opened this week after full renovations following a 2015 fire was closed again Sunday due to damage from a two-alarm fire Friday morning, authorities said.

The Hacienda Motel, at 735 N. Broadway, had only been open for two days when police and fire crews responded about 4:45 a.m. Friday to the report of flames in a room, Escondido Fire Department Battalion Chief Art Holcomb said.

The first firefighters on scene reported light smoke coming from the north side of the two-story motel, but the blaze soon intensified to fully engulf the room where the fire started.

“A second alarm was requested because of the potential threat to life,” Holcomb said. “Aggressive action by the firefighters contained and controlled the fire in approximately 20 minutes.”

Nobody was injured and other occupants of the hotel were not displaced, Holcomb said Friday. Eight engines, three trucks, two ambulances and three battalion chiefs responded to the blaze.

An employee reached by phone said the motel was closed Sunday and would likely remain closed about a week. That would be a much quicker turnaround time than after the last blaze — according to Holcomb, the Hacienda Motel re-opened only two days prior to Friday’s fire after undergoing a full remodel “due to a significant structure fire almost two years ago.”

That fire, also a two-alarm blaze, began Oct. 9, 2015, and was likely the result of drug use, police said at the time. The occupant of that room, a 33-year-old Escondido woman, was later arrested on drug charges.

The 2015 fire was contained to two rooms, but several others sustained smoke and water damage, prompting the renovations.

Photographs provided by the Escondido Fire Department showed that Friday’s fire charred the inside of a first-floor room and left black burn marks outside the room, on the second-floor railing and on the facade. The department is still investigating to determine the cause.