The fire was small, but it was the sixth deliberately set blaze at the Disneyland Hotel within two months.
This one, like the others, caused little damage. Firemen said someone apparently had wrapped towels around several telephone lines in a switching room, then had stuffed paper underneath and set it on fire. An automatic sprinkler put out the fire and caused most of the $15,000 damage.
The Fire Department was taking the small fires very seriously, however, and launched "an extensive investigation."
"We've just got to pull out all the stops," Anaheim Fire Marshal Mike Doty said. "We've got to put a stop to this. The potential is just too great. Any time you are setting fires in a building that houses hundreds of people, we're extremely concerned."
Hotel management went out of its way to exonerate the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union, Local 681, which has been without a contract since Feb. 28 and is now negotiating with the hotel. "There is no way he (union President David Schultz) or any member of his union would be involved in something like this," said Ric Morris, the hotel's labor relations manager.
"We don't want to burn the hotel down," Schultz said. "We want a contract, a fair contract--that's all."