Fire marshal investigating motel fire

Published 9:24 am Wednesday, September 11, 2013

CHESAPEAKE — The cause of a fire that damaged a motel and left more than 20 people without a place to stay is still under investigation.

Michael Duchesne, public information officer with the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s office, said the Tuesday morning fire originated in a residential structure behind Travelers Motel, which is located on Township Road 1039 off County Road 1 in Chesapeake.

Duchesne said it was still unclear if anyone was living in the residence at the time, but that it was burnt to the ground.

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Ed Webb, Chesapeake Volunteer Fire Department Chief, said the fire broke out about 3 a.m. at the motel. When firefighters arrived on the scene, the fire was fully involved, Webb said. All of the residents were able to get out unharmed.

The fire also damaged a power line, preventing crews from immediately putting out the blaze.

“We had an issue with a power line down that hampered us in fighting the fire immediately,” Webb said. “The power company dismantled the power line and we were able to do a better attack on the fire.”

Fayette Township, Proctorville and Rome Township departments aided the Chesapeake team in fighting the blaze, Webb said. The Chesapeake Women’s Auxiliary also provided food for the firefighters.

There were about 25 firefighters on scene until the fire was contained at about 5 a.m.

“We were fortunate enough we had a hydrant near the structure, so that made a real positive (impact) on the fire fighting because we were not short on water,” Webb said.

All of the motel’s 13 units were damaged with smoke and water, Webb said, and the American Red Cross assisted in providing food and beverages to the victims and were helping them find other housing.

“We are looking for anyone with information, particularly anyone who saw something in the early stages of the fire, to come forward,” Duchesne said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the fire and explosion investigation bureau tip line at 1-800-589-2728.