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Gladiators awaken to hotel fire on road in Elmira, NY

Tyler Murovich's Twitpic showed a second-story hotel room engulfed in flames.

"Early wake up call," Murovich tweeted. "The Gladiators are all OK ... just fired up for tonight's game."

Murovich showed a sense of humor about a hotel fire at the Holiday Inn-Riverview in Elmira, N.Y., where the team was staying in advance of its game Wednesday.

The players were roused from sleep around 8 a.m. and had to evacuate the building.

"It was pretty interesting," veteran forward and alternate captain Andy Brandt said. "Fire alarms were going off, a woman was banging on everyone's door."

All the players got out safely, but without some essentials.

"Some of the guys were outside with just T-shirts and it's pretty chilly," Brandt said.

The team retreated to its bus and then went to the rink for its scheduled game-day skate. A handful of players were unable to get on the ice, though, because in their haste to get out of the hotel, they just put their glasses on. Without contacts, they were relegated to riding the stationary bike.

But after respective workouts, the Gladiators headed to a diner for a meal.

"We were laughing now that everyone was safe," Brandt said. "It's just one of those things you have to brush off. Now that we've had practice and watched some video, (the coaches) said we could go back to the hotel, grab our stuff and have naps."

The Elmira Star-Gazette reported that two people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and there were no other injuries.

The Gladiators, who began a four-game road trip in Elmira, were given rooms in another part of the hotel.

"It was a real fire," head coach John Wroblewski said. "The hallway was full of smoke. Some of the guys had to rush out of their rooms. It was a tumultuous morning.

"But somewhat of an order has been restored."

Wroblewski was also dealing with a trade as events unfolded. Reading was assigned several players from the AHL and one of its defensemen, David Strathman, was acquired in exchange for financial considerations by the ailing Gladiators. With another blueliner hurt -- Dallas Jackson joined captain Paul Flache on the injured reserve Wednesday -- Gwinnett was short-handed.

"He played against us Saturday night and I remember him positively," Wroblewski said. "At this point, we need a body."

Strathman played four seasons at Northeastern University and had 41 points as a rookie last year with the Allan Americans of the CHL.

Following Wednesday's game in Elmira, the Gladiators play in Toledo Friday and Saturday before wrapping up this northern swing in Chicago on Sunday.