Alarm Spreads After Reports of Fire at El Cordova Hotel in Historic Block of Orange Avenue

Fire Reported on 1300 Block of Orange Avenue. Image: Coronado Fire Dept

Fire and police sirens ring out with some regularity in Coronado. More often than not, they are a fleeting reminder that our community and neighbors are being kept safe by the stellar public safety services we enjoy in our picturesque community.

But occasionally, those sirens increase in frequency and give rise to others – at which point locals can’t help but notice that something is amiss.

On Monday, January 14th at approximately 11:30pm, multiple sirens sounded following a report of a fire in the 1300 block of Orange Avenue inside the commercial space that houses the historic El Cordova Hotel, Miguel’s Restaurant, and other businesses.

Local Businesses at the 1300 Block of Orange Avenue

Those sirens were followed by others, and more again as multiple agencies across San Diego came to the aid of the Coronado Fire Department to contain the fire and attend to the emergency call.

According to Coronado Fire Chief Jim Lydon, the fire appeared to start in the kitchen of Miguel’s over the cooking services and quickly spread to the ceiling, the floor space of the upper level, and into the attic.

“The significance of a fire like this is the structure itself. It is an old building system with multiple stories and multiple access points.”

The fire appeared to start in the Miguel’s kitchen where it quickly spread up to to the second floor and attic

Categorized as a two-alarm fire, the emergency call summoned eight fire engines, four ladder trucks, a rescue vehicle, two ambulances, and five chief officers. Assistance from agencies in National City, San Diego, and Federal Fire were on site. Imperial Beach Fire Service assisted by providing coverage for calls the Coronado Fire Department could not service.

The fire was reported as under control by 1:15am, but firefighters remained on the scene until 8:30 Tuesday morning to make sure the area was safe. Chief Lydon described the scenario as ‘not atypical’ for a commercial building and was satisfied with the overall outcome. “Ultimately, crews were able to get in and get ahead of the fire,” says Chief Lydon. “Everyone was evacuated and rehoused, and the building is still intact.”

Fire Damage in the Historic el Cordova Hotel at 1351 Orange Ave

Although the building remains intact, smoke damage throughout the property and significant charring to Miguel’s kitchen area and second-floor hotel rooms have necessitated extensive repair work. Paint and cleaning teams were onsite Tuesday to make cosmetic repairs where possible. The site of the fire and surrounding areas are still being assessed as to the extent of the damage.

Miguel’s Restaurant Temporarily Closed Following Fire Damage


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Aimee Richer
Aimee was a ‘nado Navy baby in the 1970s, where her love for adventure and travel began. After growing up and finishing college in the Midwest, Aimee spent more than a decade living and traveling overseas. She returned to the US in 2009, and made her way back to Coronado to raise her own baby – now a first grader at Village Elementary. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: