We should point out, Hampton Inn Center City is a convention center hotel; meaning any chemical-induced explosions could have potentially caused far more damage than just the hotel. Luckily, no explosions occurred, and all guests were safely evacuated.
"At least 300 guests were evacuated from the Hampton Inn at 1301 Race St. about 5:30 a.m. as first Philadelphia firefighters, then the Police Department's homeland security and terrorism unit arrived to handle the volatile chemicals left behind by a would-be meth-maker.
Joe Sullivan, chief of the Homeland Security unit, said a 26-year-old Philadelphia-area man who rented the room Friday night was in custody and would probably be charged. The narcotics unit is seeking a second suspect, he said."
And we thought it was bad getting woken up by a fire alarm test.
By far, the most ridiculous part of the story, however, is that a number of guests who were evacuated were in fact firefighters, visiting Philly for an International Association of Firefighters convention. Yup. Doubtless, they would be a handy bunch to have around during a situation like this, but we imagine they must have been cursing their choice of hotel.
But, firefighter guests or not, we absolutely do not approve of this new hotel room meth lab trend, and would like to see it die a quick, sudden death. As for the guests who were forced to leave their rooms for 21 hours and hole up next door, we hope they at least got a free breakfast.
Not that Hampton Inn is to blame, but in the middle of July, camping out in a convention center is pretty much the last way you want to be spending your summer weekend.
[Photo: April Saul / Philly]