FRASER (WWJ) – A metro Detroit motel that has been around since the 1960s is now a complete loss after fire tore through the building early Thursday morning.
WWJ’s Ron Dewey reports the fire broke out around 2 a.m. at the Flamingo Motel on Groesbeck Highway in Fraser.
Joe Meek, the motel’s night manager, said it was pretty much a quiet night until some guests came running into the lobby.
“Room 22 said their room was on fire, so I called 911 and went and checked out their room. The bathroom ceiling was on fire so I made them get out, then I ran around and I knocked on everybody’s door to get everybody out and the fire, it just took over,” Meek said.
Firefighters from Fraser and Roseville responded and worked for about two hours before the fire was extinguished. Fraser Public Safety Lieutenant Dan Kolke said damage to the building is extensive.
“When the officers responded, they saw heavy smoke coming out of one of the rooms in the back. They pulled the truck up and made an initial handline attack and were able to stop it from spreading south, but the fire did come around and spread indoors through the additional building,” said Kolke.
All 10 of the motel’s occupants were able to get out safely and uninjured. Lilly Eilem said she saw the firetrucks outside her window, but didn’t put two and two together until she heard Meeks pounding on her door, telling her to get out.
“By the time we got up, we couldn’t grab anything. It was black smoke and it was going, going strong. We got out and we just hit the cars, you know, we was walking but there’s so much black smoke you couldn’t see nothing, we just went by feel,” said Eilem.
Two firefighters were taken to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation.
Kolke said it appears the fire started in a bathroom fan on the motel’s second floor, although a direct cause wasn’t immediately identified.
An investigation is ongoing.