A two-alarm fire caused significant damage to a historic hotel in Coronado late Monday and investigators are trying to determine how it started.
The fire was reported at the El Cordova Hotel shortly before 11:30 p.m. The blaze also damaged Miguel’s Cocina, one of four restaurants in the Spanish village-style hotel complex.
Built as a retirement home in 1902, the building was converted into a hotel in 1930.
“The fire is still under investigation but it appeared to have started in the kitchen area and spread to the floor of one of the hotel rooms above it,” said Coronado Fire Battalion Chief Perry Peake.
The fire also made its way to the building’s attic, he said.
Peake said crews from San Diego and National City as well as federal firefighters were called to assist in putting out the fire. Crews remained at the site Tuesday.
Coronado police helped to evacuate nine hotel guests from the building, and they were moved to another property, the battalion chief said. No one was injured.
The fire caused an estimated $450,000 in damage — about $300,000 to the structure and $150,000 to its contents. Peake said four or five hotel rooms were damaged, as was the building’s roof and the kitchen in the restaurant.
Firefighters tried to minimize the damage to the historic hotel, which sits in the heart of Coronado, across the street from the Hotel del Coronado.
According to the hotel’s website, the El Cordova was built as a retirement mansion for wealthy industrialist Elisha Babcock and turned into a hotel after his death.
The complex has a courtyard swimming pool and 12 boutique shops.
Peake said crews were keenly aware of the significance of the hotel to the community.
“The firefighters worked very hard to make sure we didn’t lose part of Coronado’s history,” he said.
Kucher writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.