Happy Days star Henry Winkler - aka The Fonz - praises Dublin fire service after blaze at his hotel

Actor Henry Winkler has praised Irish firefighters after a blaze at his hotel led to him being unexpectedly evacuated from his room.

A selfie shared by the 78-year-old Happy Days star on X, which showed him smiling alongside three firemen from Dublin Fire Brigade, quickly went viral.

Winkler wrote alongside the photo: "Dublin's finest does a great job when our hotel is evacuated on our first morning!"

He's best known for playing cool motorcycle rider Arthur "Fonzie" Fonzarelli on the hit American sitcom, which was set in the 1950s, but filmed in the 1970s and 1980s.

The Emmy-winner is also known for other comedy roles including playing acting teacher Gene Cousineau in the hitman series Barry and Barry Zuckerkorn in Arrested Development.

The actor was staying at the Shelbourne Hotel when he was evacuated alongside other guests early on Wednesday morning.

He told local journalists he was initially confused about what the early morning disturbance could be.

"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.

"And 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."

When asked about thanking the emergency services, Winkler said: "You know what, how wonderful are firemen? Some of my favourite human beings, firemen and firewomen.

"They run in when other people are running out.

"I think they deserve to [have their hands] shook."

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Dublin Fire Brigade said the evacuation "helped enormously".

The five-star hotel on St Stephen's Green saw six fire engines, including a turntable ladder and emergency tender, attend the scene. Guests were allowed to return later the same day.