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Fire causes estimated $1 million in damage at LR Peabody

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published December 25, 2012 at 9:31 a.m. Updated December 25, 2012 at 12:44 p.m.


Members of the Little Rock fire department wait for their next assignment outside of the Peabody Hotel early Tuesday morning. A kitchen fire inside the hotel destroyed two full kitchens and caused the lobby to fill with smoke. No injures were reported.

Smoke is visible from North Little Rock during a fire at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock Tuesday morning.

— A fire that started in a broiler at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock has completely destroyed a kitchen there, causing an estimated $1 million in damage, fire officials said.

Little Rock Fire Department Capt. Jason Weaver said crews were called to the downtown Little Rock hotel about 8 a.m. Tuesday for a fire that spread into a ventilation device and into the roof area over a kitchen.

Weaver said no injuries were reported, but the flames destroyed appliances, duct work all the way to the roof, plumbing, wiring and more.

Bruce Skidmore, director of sales and marketing for the hotel, said guests were evacuated but were being allowed back in by about 9:30 a.m.

The kitchen area is over La Harpe Boulevard and is somewhat "isolated from the occupants," Weaver said. Skidmore said there was a light smell of smoke in other parts of the hotel, but nothing significant.

Skidmore said the kitchen will be out of commission "until further notice." He said a big Christmas brunch that had been planned Tuesday will not be happening and that hotel staff was working to get ahold of guests with reservations.

How long until the kitchen is back isn't clear.

"We really don't know until we fully assess the impact of everything," Skidmore said.

He said a New Year's party planned at the hotel would go on as planned, though its menu may be limited.

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 total comments

Thelby says... December 25, 2012 at 10:51 a.m.

It is a Blessing on Christmas Day that no one was injured!!!

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RBBrittain says... December 25, 2012 at 2:32 p.m.

With a sale & renaming of the Peabody (soon to be a Marriott, sans ducks) in the works, LRFD & LRPD need to investigate this carefully. Though it's PROBABLY just an accident (every kitchen has some risk of fire), under these circumstances arson (by old owners, new owners, employees, etc.) is a distinct possibility.

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Felina says... December 25, 2012 at 3:58 p.m.

Check the disgruntled water fowl for their whereabouts....

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