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posted: 03/03/2003
by Paul McMorris

A ski weekend got hot¿damn hot¿for more than 400 sleeping guests at Mountain Green resort in Killington, Vermont, last March. Before dawn on March 4, guests were rousted from their rooms after someone tossed a burning fireplace log down a trash chute and into a dumpster in the parking garage. Employees were able to wheel the flaming dumpster outside and shut down the sprinkler system, but then a second, more serious fire ignited in the garage. It roasted 42 cars and two motorcycles to a crisp.

"It was like a domino effect," said Vermont state trooper Dennis Holman. "One car went up after another."

Needless to say, the guests¿including two large high school groups from New Jersey¿weren't pleased: no cars, no rooms, no skiing, but hey, no injuries. Damages will top $4 million, according to the resort's owner, who expects to have the resort ready again by Thanksgiving.

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