It was a bedroom lamp cord, rubbed raw, that started the Eldorado Hotel fire in Dawson City last Thursday.
The cord was plugged into an outlet behind a bed in one of the upstairs suites of the hotel,” said Fire Marshal Marty Dobbin, Wednesday.
It “was bent at such an angle that over time the cord became damaged until there was no insulation between it and the bed frame,” said Dobbin.
“The cord failed and when the cord failed, of course we had an ignition source in the form of electricity, which probably started the bed or the box spring on fire and it progressed from there.”
A housekeeper who came into the suite to put fresh linens on the bed discovered the fire.
She most likely introduced oxygen into the space where the damaged electrical cord was; this encouraged flames, said Dobbin.
After inspectors determined the cause of the fire was accidental, they turned the building back over to the owners and insurance adjustors on Friday.
The adjustor estimated the damage at $500,000 or higher, said former Dawson mayor and ex-MLA Peter Jenkins who owns the Eldorado Hotel.
Jenkins plans to rebuild and hopes to reopen the damaged rooms within the year, he said on Wednesday.
The entire second floor and roof of the building is damaged beyond repair; however, the first floor only received water damage and is considered to be salvageable, he said.
“We’re working at it as fast as we can,” said Jenkins in an interview from Dawson.
“It’s been very stressful on my wife and I, extremely stressful, but I would like to express our appreciation to the outpouring of help from the members of this community.”
The Eldorado Hotel is still in operation. An annex houses 24 rooms and Jenkins also owns Yukon Hotel on Front Street, which is still open for business.
“We have 30 rooms that are available to the travelling public,” said Jenkins.