UPDATE: More than thirty people displaced after Ashland hotel fire

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

ASHLAND, VA (WWBT) - Crews were on-scene in Ashland for hours, after a fire forced an evacuation at the Super 8 motel overnight.

The hotel is located on Route 54 right off of Interstate 95.

A spokesperson for Hanover fire says the fire was a three alarm meaning almost every crew in the county was helping out.

It started just before 1:30 a.m. and crews worked for three hours to put it out.

The motel was evacuated, but no guests were hurt.

One firefighter was injured, but he was treated at the scene and is expected to be fine. That firefighter ended up with a nail in his hand, while he was fighting the fire.

We talked with some people who were on scene and staying in the motel overnight.

People staying in this motel described the scene as chaotic, as fire fighters not only had to battle the fire, but the weather, too.

We obtained home video of the fire. About 80 firefighters on scene, that's nearly the entire Hanover County Fire Department.

In the video, you can see one firefighter running through the parking lot and people who were staying in this motel, on the phone, watching the motel burn.

That includes Cristy Kingery and her family. "We woke up and people were outside screaming there's a fire. My kids dad opened up the door and flames were coming up the hall."

She was staying around the corner from where the fire was when crews arrived.

"The first reaction was to grab the kids. He did that. I turned around and the suitcase was there and I flipped it over the balcony," says Cristy.

Stephen Bradshaw was also staying in the motel. The former volunteer firefighter sprung into action. "Started busting out windows, doing room to room searches," says Bradshaw.

But the flames eventually got in the way. "It was coming out of this room rolling across the ceiling, coming down and we made it to about here before we turned back because of the flames."

Firefighters say the 'L' shape of the building helped them contain the fire. But the cold weather made it a challenge. All the water on the ground quickly iced up.

"Debris, glass, a lot of issues as far as the weather. It was cold," says Hanover County Bat. Chief Henri Moore.

Now, people like Cristy are looking at the damage, thankful no guests were hurt. "We are just getting our stuff now. Glad it's not ruined."

Because of the extensive damage here from this fire, it's going to take a long time to clean up this mess. In fact, the building inspector up here in Hanover County says the damage is estimated to be about $1 million.

We are told the fire is still under investigation and crews are not exactly sure where the fire started. They do know the fire was on the second and third floor when they arrived, just moments after the first 911 call.

Some people who were staying in the hotel did tell our crew on the scene they heard noise around an ice machine near where the fire was. That happened just moments before the fire started.

Many of the people in that were staying in the motel that was damaged are staying in another nearby hotel, owned by the same people that own the Super 8.

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