After 48-year-old Laura Finley died last Saturday from a suspicious tumble down the 1920s-era Millenium Biltmore Hotel's grand stairwell, the Mayfair Hotel — a few blocks to the west, on the other side of the 110 — had a bizarre meltdown of its own last night.
“We were watching a scary movie in our room,” a hotel guest told NBC Los Angeles. “And we heard an alarm, so Joel called the front desk.”
Turns out the Regency Ballroom had caught fire. Another guest described the majestic 255-capacity room to NBC as “covered in charred ash and a black, crispy water was coming out.”
Hundreds of dazed overnighters, alongside more, ahem, long-term guests (obligatory at any creaky old “historic” joint), spilled out onto the street from the 15-story building as over 50 firefighters arrived to the moonlit scene.
Meanwhile, the sprinkler system and a broken riser pipe carrying water to upper floors had a field day, sending torrents of nasty DWP water splashing down the Mayfair's stairwells, Titanic-style. According to firefighters, at least one elevator shaft was also overtaken by water — a sort of beautiful urban waterfall.
If not for the crockety old sprinkler system, though, which way overcompensated for the flames in the ballroom — mangling old carpets and ceilings from the eighth floor down — the fire could have caused a lot more damage.
Was the midnight Mayfair fire the work of the Biltmore ghost? Or is there other foul play at hand?
And most importantly: Who's next?