Olympia hotel burns, displacing dozens of homeless guests
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A fire destroyed the Quality Inn hotel in Olympia Friday, displacing about 80 guests including families who were staying there because of the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities said.
Firefighters arrived at the hotel around midnight and found a shrub burning, The Olympian reported. Asst. Chief of Operations Mike Buchanan said the fire quickly spread up the building’s siding and into its attic.
Crews inside had difficulties accessing the flames, leading to the evacuation of the motel, he said. No injuries have been reported.
Two buses were sent to the scene for the people who were staying at the hotel, the Olympia Fire Department said. Among those evacuated were about 15 families experiencing homelessness who had been moved to the hotel from a shelter to allow for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Trish Gregory, executive director of the Family Support Center of South Sound.
Gregory said the Family Support Center was working on a long-term plan for the displaced families, but that the Governor Hotel was booked for them through early next week. The families weren’t able to go back into the hotel to get their belongings after evacuating, Gregory said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Fire officials said there were no sprinklers or fire walls in the motel to mitigate the fire’s spread.
Fire crews were still working to put out the fire Friday afternoon.