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Fire rages through popular Xcaret restaurant after a lightning strike

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
The electrical storm responsible for igniting the fire started earlier in the day but really picked up in the early afternoon. Photo: Facebook

A bolt of lightning hit Xcaret Park on Saturday and ignited a large fire that severely damaged a restaurant and consumed its thatched roof.

Park administrators reported that no guests or staff were hurt during the fire. 

Firefighters arrived quickly at the scene and managed to contain the fire before the flames were able to spread to other structures or much of the surrounding vegetation. 

“We immediately activated our safety protocols. We treat our thatched-roof palapas with a chemical flame-retardant which bought us time to evacuate staff and guests without injury or incident,” said a press statement released by Xcaret. 

Earlier: Fire in Tulum forces evacuation of 1,000 people

Several guests snapped photos and took videos of the fire to share online. 

The burning of thatch roof structures is fairly common on the Yucatán peninsula as the intense heat quickly dries out their woven palm fronds.

Some thatch-roofed structures are treated with flame-retardants, making combustion of the material considerably slower. 

Xcaret Park re-opened to the public in June 2020 after several months of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Grupo Xcaret is currently building a new beachfront hotel which will be called Hotel Xcaret Arte and will be themed around the works of several of Mexico’s greatest artists.

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