THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -
Guests at a Thomasville hotel did not find a late night prank very funny. The prank left the Hampton Inn with a big mess to clean up in more than a dozen rooms.
A clean up and restoration company had to haul out fans, round up hoses, and other equipment needed to dry out some ten to fifteen rooms at the Hampton Inn that were damaged when the hotel's fire sprinkler system was turned on.
"A call that a resident received from an unknown person advised the guest to break off the sprinkler system inside of their room,” said Lt. Eric Hampton.
That guest has told police that the call came in around 2 in the morning. The woman believed that the person may have been with the fire department so without hesitation she followed the orders.
Police warn against falling for this prank,"before you take instruction from anyone, make sure that you notify management, they should be the ones to give orders in one of their hotel rooms,” said Hampton.
The cruel prank led to the evacuation of the entire hotel and a costly cleanup for the hotel.
Alyce Tillman who manages a competing hotel near the Hampton Inn says she has never heard of anything like this in her thirty-eight years in the industry.
"Not quite like this but we've had people to go and set the alarms off,” said Tillman.
Tillman says regardless of the type of prank most hotels must carry out their standard procedure to ensure the safety of guests and that there are serious drawbacks to the entire process.
"You could have handicap people or you could have a hotel full and people can start rushing and hurt each other by stumbling and falling,” said Tillman.
While the pranksters may have thought their call would provide a chuckle or two this hotel manager says it's not funny.
"Someone could get really hurt, I don't think it's a fun thing to do, I don't see any humor at all,” said Tillman.
Hampton Inn representatives declined our request to go on camera but they say that they are working with police and they do plan to file charges against the person who called in this prank.