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The State : 700 Flee Restaurant Fire

March 12, 1987

A restaurant fire at the plush Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco caused evacuation of more than 700 people, many of them wearing furs against a light rain on Nob Hill and carrying half-filled wine glasses. There were no injuries. The fire broke out in a greasy flue in the ground-floor kitchen of Fournou's Ovens, the hotel's main restaurant. Damage was estimated at more than $25,000, officials said. Smoke made its way through the eight-story building, causing the evacuation. Bob Berger, hotel manager, said the Sonoma County Wineries Assn. was conducting a wine-tasting for more than 500 people in the main ballroom. Participants, many with partially filled wine glasses, strolled into nearby California Street, then returned to continue the event when the evacuation order ended.

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