Watch: Hollywood Legend Evacuated After Fire at Historic Irish Hotel


Actor Henry Winkler, remembered by many for playing Fonzie on the ’70s sitcom “Happy Days,” was evacuated from the historic Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin last week when a fire broke out on the property.

“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,” Winkler told the Irish news outlet RTÉ.

“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’re all evacuating. You must evacuate right now!’ And I left,” he said.

The fire alarm had gone off about 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

Winkler was seen thanking local firefighters outside the hotel.

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“You know what? How wonderful! Firemen are some of my favorite human beings – firemen and firewomen,” he said. “They run in when other people are running out. I think they deserve to be shook [by the hand].”

The fire in his hotel wasn’t the first travel hiccup on Winkler’s trip.

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“We came last night. Our plane was delayed in London for about 3½ hours. This morning we got up and evacuated,” Winkler told RTÉ .

“It was an amazing adventure right here in Dublin,” the actor said. “I cannot wait to see the rest of Dublin.”

RTÉ reported that Dublin firefighters got the blaze under control within an hour. It had started in a roof space above a sixth-floor bedroom.

District Officer Colm Kershaw of the Dublin Fire Brigade said there was minimal damage to the hotel.

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“The landmark Shelbourne Hotel dates back to 1824 and is known as ‘The Grand Dame’ of Dublin,” RTE reported.

Winkler was in Ireland to promote his autobiography, “Being Henry: The Fonz … and Beyond,” released in October as the Hollywood icon was celebrating his 78th birthday, Entertainment Tonight reported.

In addition to his 11 seasons on “Happy Days,” Winkler is known for his appearances in the Adam Sandler movies “The Water Boy” (1998) as Coach Klein and “Click” (2006) as the father of Sandler’s character.

Most recently, Winkler appeared as a main character in the HBO series “Barry” starring “Saturday Night Live” alum Bill Hader.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith