Brush Fire Embers Spread to Hotel Near PCH in Long Beach

Winds pushed the flames from the brush fire to palm trees outside the hotel a few blocks away

Fire crews battled a 45-acre brush fire that broke out near the Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach Wednesday and spread to a hotel filmed in Hollywood productions.

The blaze broke out in the Los Cerritos Wetlands area near PCH and Second Street about 9:40 a.m., Long Beach Fire Department Spokesman Will Nash said. It remained at 95 percent containment as of 6 p.m.

Winds pushed embers from the grassy area to palm trees a few blocks away at the SeaPort Marina Hotel about an hour later, he said. Smaller fires broke out across a 5-acre area amid dry, hot and windy conditions.

"The flames were so tall, like you see in a national park forest fire," hotel guest Jennifer Hjelm said.

The hotel and the Long Beach Marketplace center were evacuated while crews doused the flames. The blaze did some minor damage to the hotel, and firefighters had to put out spot fires on boats in Alamitos Bay.

The SeaPort Marina Hotel has been filmed in television shows including "Dexter," "Modern Family," "CSI Miami," and the movie "Almost Famous."

One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion.

Second Street and PCH, and Westminster Boulevard and Studebaker Road, were temporarily closed but reopened by 4:#0 p.m., according to the Long Beach Fire Department.

The fire was the third one reported since midnight.

A gas pump was set ablaze just after 12 a.m. Wednesday, moments after fire crews responded to trees on fire a few blocks from the Mobil gas station, police said.

Surveillance video showed a man setting fire to the pump before riding away on a bicycle. Police Wednesday morning arrested a man near the area of the brush fire in connection with the overnight arson.

Officials were investigating whether the fires were related.

NBC4's Hetty Chang contributed to this report.

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