Fogerty concert smokes despite fire scares

JOHN Fogerty will not soon forget his last concert in Winnipeg.

The California rocker and his band were staying at the Fairmont Winnipeg when fire broke out at a restaurant in the concourse below the hotel on Sunday night, just before the former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman was due to take the stage at Canada Life Centre.

A firefighter required treatment at the scene for heat-related injuries.

Melissa Dragich, a publicist for Fogerty, said Monday the band is doing well.

“They were getting ready for the show when the alarm went off,” she said.

“They thought maybe it was a malfunction or a test since the (AC) in the hotel was off as it was and it was over 90F (32C) in their room.”

Dragich said Fogerty’s son Shane – who plays in the band alongside his younger brother Tyler – called to say he had already left his room and that his father should do the same.

“He had already gone down the 14 flights of stairs and there was smoke in the stairwell,” she said. “John and his wife Julie followed his example and walked up the stairs without his show gear in hand.

“They came out fine and arrived safely at the venue, but without John’s stage attire – or even his shoes. He almost wanted to borrow the promoters’ shoes for the show, but since the fire was out… his tour manager could make sure he could make it back there and get his show stuff back in time,” Dragich said. “Very stressful, to say the least.”

Dragich said Fogerty, whose hits include CCR Proud Mary and lucky childsaid he forgot the snafu as soon as he took the stage.

“He saw the smiling faces of the fans in the crowd and it turned out to be one of the best shows in years,” she said.

“I was told by his wife Julie that it will probably go down as one of his top 10 shows of all time.”

Fogerty briefly mentioned the incident between songs during the concert.

Dragich said the band decided to switch hotels due to the lack of air conditioning.

The Winnipeg Fire Department Emergency Medical Services said crews found smoke inside the hotel and the concourse below around 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Firefighters found the fire at an indoor restaurant, which crews quickly brought under control.

Fairmont manager Aryanne Lu said guests had to briefly evacuate the hotel until firefighters said they could get back inside because the fire wasn’t in the building.

Kevin Rollson

Kevin Rollson

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it’s City Hall, the courts, or general news reporting, Rollason can be trusted to not only answer the 5 W’s – who, what, when, where, and why – but to do so in an interesting and accessible way for readers does .

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