SANTA CRUZ — Fire swept through at least one room at the Surf City Inn and Suites early Saturday in the Beach Flats area of Santa Cruz. The fire broke out on the second floor around 4:20 a.m. on the 600 block of Riverside Avenue.
“I was picking my brother up to take him to the airport and suddenly I saw flames coming from one room upstairs,” said Yvonne Negron. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The whole door was on fire and spreading. There was smoke everywhere. I started honking my horn to wake everyone one up. I didn’t know if there were people still asleep in their rooms. It was terrifying.”
Negron said she eventually dropped her brother off at the airport and returned to the inn to collect the rest of her brother’s belongings. He was just married Friday and his wife is pregnant.
“This is a rough start to the day,” Negron said.
No injuries were reported.
About 45 guests at the Inn were rerouted, many in their bedclothes, to other rooms at the sprawling business before sunrise. Black smoke residue was on the walls outside several rooms on the second floor.
Santa Cruz Police and Public Works were called to the scene to shut down sections of Riverside Avenue and Campbell Street.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Firefighters remained on the scene for several hours for mop up operations.
On Monday morning numerous guests were visible at the inn, an indication part of the business is still open.
The early-morning Saturday fire caused an estimated $350,000 of damage to the Surfside Inn and Suites in Santa Cruz, according to Santa Cruz Fire Battalion Chief Josh Coleman. — Contributed