McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

January 13, 2013

Fire burns local motel

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — A Wednesday morning fire at a Pittsburg County motel is being investigated by the Oklahoma State Fire Marshals Office, according to Brett Brewer chief of McAlester Fire Dept.

The fire at the Budget Inn on State Highway 69 was reported at 12:37 a.m. and there were no injuries, Brewer said. He said firefighters worked on the fire for more than four hours.

Andy Patel, owner of the motel sat in his car Thursday morning looking at the burned out building that he said he and his family lived in.

He said he learned that his building was on fire from a phone call.

“My friend called me as he was passing by and said he saw the fire,” Patel said. “That’s how I found out about it.”

‘Its very upsetting,” Patel said as he looked at remains of the burned out building.

Iowa resident Daryl Thompson, 56, said he was staying at the motel the night of the fire.

“The owners were screaming and beating on the doors telling us to get out” Thompson said.

He said after he was out of the building he heard three loud explosions around the area of the lobby.

Thompson said smoke was the first thing he saw.

“The smoke was thick and dense and then the fire broke out along the roof line, Thompson said.

“The fire was real hot and it seemed to chase along the roof line.”

Meanwhile Brewer said no estimate has been made on the amount of damage but he said it appeared to be a total loss.

He said three McAlester fire engines and two ambulances responded to the fire, along with tankers from Savanna, Krebs, Bugtussle and Alderson.

“We needed tankers because the closest hydrant was more than a 1,000 feet away and it wasn’t very good,” Brewer said.

He said the fire was being investigated by the Oklahoma State Fire Marshal’s office because the building was in the county not the city of McAlester.

He said results of the investigation could be released in a few days.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.

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