Staff and guests of The Shelbourne, Dublin's historic five-star hotel on St. Stephen's Green, were evacuated on Wednesday morning, June 12 after a fire broke out in an upper-floor bedroom.

The Dublin Fire Brigade arrived at Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel at 10:38 this morning, less than ten minutes after fire alarms began to ring out. 

Among those who were evacuated was Henry Winkler, best known as Arthur 'The Fonz' Fonzarelli on the US sitcom "Happy Days." He's in Ireland to promote his memoir "Being Henry - The Fonz and Beyond."

Winkler took to social media on  Wednesday to offer warm praise for the Dublin Fire Brigade after Wednesday's incident, which thankfully resulted in only minimal damage.

"Thank you Dublin ‘s fire department," Winkler posted on X with a smiling selfie with firefighters from the Dublin Fire Brigade, "our hotel was evacuated on our first morning !!!"

Thank you Dublin ‘s fire department … our hotel was evacuated on our first morning !!!

— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) June 12, 2024

Winkler recounted his experienced to RTÉ News: "When I heard the fire alarm, I thought it was the clock radio. I thought somebody had set the alarm before we got there, like another guest.

"Finally I went into another room and it was still buzzing, so I called downstairs and the woman said in a very calm voice, 'Yes, we are all evacuating, you must evacuate right now.'

"So I left."

Winkler added: "Firemen are some of my favorite human beings - firemen and firewomen. They run in as people are running out."

US actor Henry Winkler, best known as The Fonz from sitcom Happy Days, has praised Dublin firefighters involved in this morning's evacuation of the historic Shelbourne Hotel | Read more:

— RTÉ News (@rtenews) June 12, 2024

Dublin Fire Brigade said later on Wednesday that six fire engines, including a turntable ladder and emergency tender, remained on the scene at St. Stephen's Green.

Firefighters were called to a fire in a premises on St Stephen's Green at 1038 this morning

The fire is under control with an effective evacuation helping enormously

Six fire engines including a turntable ladder and emergency tender remain on scene

Traffic restrictions in area

— Dublin Fire Brigade (@DubFireBrigade) June 12, 2024

Colm Kershaw, the District Officer with Dublin Fire Brigade, told RTÉ News that the fire started in the roof space above a bedroom on the sixth floor in the hotel's new wing.

"It was confined to that room," Kershaw said.

"There was minimal damage to the hotel because the crews got up there fairly quick and got water on it.

"We had the floor isolated and we got it out fairly quick."

He added: "Everyone is out safe. Everyone was out the hotel, so everything worked very well."

Kershaw said that some water damage had been caused but that there was "minimal damage to the protected structure."

An electrical fault is being investigated as a possible cause of the fire.

The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin boasts a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1824. Founded by Martin Burke, the hotel was named after William Petty, the 2nd Earl of Shelburne. The Shelbourne quickly became a prestigious address, attracting prominent guests and playing a significant role in Ireland's social and political life.

In 1922, the hotel gained historical significance as the site where the Irish Constitution was drafted. Michael Collins and other key figures of the Irish Free State's provisional government met in room 112, now known as the Constitution Room.

Famous guests over the years have included stars like Greta Garbo, John Wayne, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, and Robert Redford, the Irish Times notes.

US President John F. Kennedy stayed at the Shelbourne during his 1963 visit when he addressed the Dáil (Parliament).