Trash chute fire sparks evacuation at hotel near Long Beach Airport

Fire crews evacuated a hotel near the Long Beach Airport after a small blaze set off an alarm and sent smoke wafting into a hallway.

The blaze started in a trash chute around 5:45 a.m., Long Beach Fire Department Capt. Matt Dobberpuhl said. It was at the Extended Stay America on Willow Street just west of Lakewood Boulevard.

The flames were relatively minor, but they triggered the evacuation, according to Dobberpuhl.

“There wasn’t a lot of fire,” he said. “It was mostly smoke that got into the second-floor hallway.”

Nobody was hurt, but firefighters had to douse the flames and clean up some water and smoke on the second floor.

“All the residents have been allowed to go back in at this point,” Dobberpuhl said around 8 a.m.

Crews are still investigating exactly how the blaze started.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram. He lives in Torrance with his wife, Lindsey, and their two young children.