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Massive Hotel Fire Destroys Sorrento Valley Hilton Garden Inn

A massive fire destroyed a four-story hotel under construction in the northern part of the city Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people from nearby buildings.

No one was injured in the three-alarm fire, which broke out at the 80-room Hilton Garden Inn around 1:45 a.m., according to Maurice Luque, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The hotel was completely engulfed in flames by the time fire crews arrived about 6 minutes after the first alarm, according to Luque.

"It was raging pretty well," Luque said.

Three rooms in an adjacent Homeward Suites hotel also caught fire. Luque said 189 guests and six workers were evacuated from the 120-room facility.

Another 200 people were evacuated from a nearby apartment complex, Luque said. Some of those apartments sustained damage from the heat.

The fire also engulfed about 20 cars parked in a lot next to the construction site.

It took 80 firefighters from several departments about 1½ hours to quell the blaze.

None of the structure could be saved.

Luque said the total damage could be as high as $10 million.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation.

The new hotel was being built in the Sorrento Valley area, a business district 15 miles north of downtown San Diego. It was scheduled to open in September.

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