On August 30, 1989 at approximately 5:15 a.m., a fire occurred in a guest room at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. The entire building is equipped with smoke detectors in corridors and guest rooms and with occupant evacuation alarms. The hotel has two high-rise towers that contain guest rooms. One tower is fully sprinklered, and the other tower, where the fire occurred, was scheduled for the installation of sprinklers.
Boston fire investigators have determined that the fire was suspicious in nature, and the ignition likely involved a king-size bed. After ignition, the smoke detector in the room activated, and guests in adjacent rooms notified the hotel operator. The hotel operator immediately called the Boston Fire Department and initiated the hotel's fire emergency plan.
Several employees who were members of the hotel's incipient fire brigade responded to the floor of fire origin, found smoke coming from the guest room, and called the operator to confirm the fire. Shortly after the fire brigade reached the room, Boston fire fighters also arrived and began their fire attack with their hose which was connected to a standpipe. The fire was extinguished while it still involved the king-size bed. Though the room of fire origin was heavily damaged by flames, heat, and smoke, very little damage occurred outside this room.