Quebec city ice hotel catches fire, somehow

Published: January 11, 2018

Bedroom at the ice hotel Photo courtesy of Matias Garabedian

You can probably guess the risks of staying at an ice hotel: hard beds, cold toes, and hot chocolate that won’t stay warm. But rarely does anyone check into a hotel made entirely of ice and worry about fire.

Nevertheless, Quebec’s Hôtel de Glace recently had a fire break out in one of the rooms, sending a few people to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation. The exact cause of the blaze hasn’t been determined, but hotel director Jacques Debois believed it started when a candle in one of the rooms caught on a bedspread.

The ice hotel is a well-known tourist attraction in Quebec, offering visitors a chance to stay in igloo-like structures built entirely of ice and snow. There’s even an “ice bar,” where everything from the drinking glasses to the front counter are made of ice.

While fire obviously isn’t great for an ice hotel, the building is structurally fine. Nevertheless, current guests had to be transferred to the nearby Hôtel Valcartier as Hôtel de Glace has had to close for a few days to clean up the mess left by the blaze. Apparently, ash and smoke aren’t exactly great for the aesthetics of a pristine white ice palace.

“Hôtel de Glace is like a giant igloo,” hotel director Jacques Desbois told Le Soleil. “Air and dust settles on the snow. So we’re already hard at work cleaning up.”

The hotel will reopen within a few days.

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