ST. GEORGE – Around 9 p.m. Wednesday, emergency responders answered a fire call directing them to 310 W. St. George Blvd. in St. George.
Lt. Dave Moss of the St. George Police Department said a patrol officer on St. George Boulevard was alerted to the fire at the Cliff Inn Motel and contacted police dispatch. Fire engines and ambulances arrived soon after. As the Fire Department responded to the fire, St. George Boulevard between 200 West and 400 West was blocked off, resulting in traffic being diverted.
Motel residents also evacuated the premises as fast as they could.
“I got my family the hell out,” said Dawn Tinsley, a motel resident.
Tina Fiske, the manager of the Cliff Inn Motel, said, “We saw smoke and got everybody out.”
Fiske said she had no idea what caused the blaze, but heard it may have been an electrical fire started in the motel’s laundry room.
Tinsley had been told the same thing, “They said a fire started in the laundry room area.”
Whipple was unable to answer definitively what the cause may have been. “We don’t know right now,” he said.
Only a preliminary investigation would be done Wednesday night, St. George Fire Department Capt. Jason Whipple said, adding the fire department would be engaged in a much more extensive investigation Thursday.
A rough estimate on the damages currently stands at $200,000. This estimate may go up, Whipple said, as firefighters have yet to enter the structure and inspect the internal damage.
No one was injured in the fire. However, residents of the Cliff Inn were displaced for the night. No one would be allowed to return while the firefighters mopped up the scene and conducted their investigation.
Fiske said the owner of the motel was helping put residents up for the night in another motel nearby. However, some of the residents, including Fiske herself, have pet dogs, which many motels will not allow as a matter of policy.
During the course of the fire, the shelter at the Dixie Care and Share, which sits behind the Cliff Inn, was evacuated. No damage was reported to Dixie Care and Share, though, and people were eventually able to return to the shelter.
James Fiske, Tina Fiske’s son who also works as maintenance for the motel, said he had barely replaced the motel’s fire alarms. “They work,” he said. “We heard them.”
Copyright 2012 St. George News.