The fire was reported at the three-story hotel just before noon (PST) Thursday. Apparently, several people called 911 reporting an explosion and that people were running outside and screaming. In a Washington Post story, a witness said,
“People were screaming and running and a man was burning from head to toe,” Jordan said. “His skin was falling off.”
Though the flames quickly spread from the second floor, the blaze was mostly under control within minutes, according to San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Maurice Luque.
U-T San Diego reported (http://bit.ly/WBNwu4) that U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents were called in to investigate the possibility the explosion may have come from a meth lab. DEA spokeswoman Amy Roderick confirmed this and that they, along with hazardous material crews and investigators, found several boxes containing canisters of butane inside the room.
The Heritage Inn bills itself as a moderately-priced go-to-hotel for SeaWorld visitors. It's located in San Diego's Midway area, near the airport and beaches. Quick looks around on the Web have mixed reviews. While some say it offers great value, others have called it a "Tweeker Hotel", say "the hotel is located among adult entertainment establishments and have people smoking pot in the parking lot," and what really made us cringe, "Only stay here if you want to pick up a cocaine addiction."
[Photos: SanDiegoNews.com/Heritage Inn - Sea World San Diego/TripAdvisor]
Additional reporting by Chanize Thorpe