Chesterfield hotel explosion deemed suspicious

Chesterfield hotel explosion deemed suspicious
Police, Fire and Hazmat crews on scene (Source: NBC12)
The explosion damaged a room on the upper floor of the InTown Suites (Source: NBC12)
The explosion damaged a room on the upper floor of the InTown Suites (Source: NBC12)

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Investigators are trying to figure out what caused an explosion at a Chesterfield hotel early Tuesday morning.

The call came in around 4:30 a.m. for a fire alarm at the InTown Suites in the 11500-block of Green Spring Road, between Koger Center Blvd and Robious Road. Chesterfield County Fire and EMS tell us they found signs of an explosion, and some residents report the building shook.

Most people were asleep when it happened, but not Brendon Chandler.

"Just a big explosion and then the window just ended up in the parking lot," remembers Chandler.

He was smoking a cigarette when all of a sudden in the room above his, "The window just shot right out!"

And, that's when guests say chaos erupted.

"I just heard the fire alarm go off and I heard a whole bunch of people running outside. The next thing you know, I'm waking up and just everybody's going outside," says resident David Rivenbark.

Chesterfield Fire says the explosion happened in a room on the third floor. The blown-out window and melted plastic from the fire was evident from the outside. That fire activated the room's sprinkler system. Some second floor rooms sustained water damage from those sprinklers.

A Hazmat team was brought in and tests found no hazardous materials in the room, but investigators are calling the situation "suspicious" and say the room's occupant was no where to be found.

One guest told NBC12, she heard footsteps before the fire alarm went off.

"[Someone was] hightailing it down the hall. We're right in front of the elevator near the stairwell, and I heard the stairwell door fly open and hit the wall," she says.

Now police want to talk to that person.

No one was injured by the explosion, but two hotel guests were later taken to the hospital for unrelated injuries.

Police and the Fire Marshal's Office continue to investigate.

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