EFFINGHAM — A fire Monday morning at the Effingham Holiday Inn caused between $25,000 and $50,000 in damage, according to hotel management.
Members of the Effingham Fire Department were called to the scene of the fire in the second-floor laundry room of the Effingham Holiday Inn at 1301 Avenue of Mid-America around 10:16 a.m. Monday.
Effingham Deputy Fire Chief Matt Kulesza said the fire started in a utility room on the second floor.
Effingham Holiday Inn general manager Kenny Flier said there was smoke coming from the laundry room which turned into flames.
“A lot of people jumped right in and took care of it,” Flier said. “There were flames in the guest laundry room. You always train for something like this and you never want it to happen, but the good news is that everything worked like it did today .
Flier said guests were evacuated from their rooms as hotel staff worked to put out the flames before firefighters arrived.
“No one was injured and we got the guests out of the area,” Flier said.
Kulesza said the smoke was rising in the wall channel, sending smoke from the second floor to the third floor of the building.
Hotel owner Christopher Keller said they will need to replace washing machines and replace drywall which had to be removed by firefighters to ensure there was no fire behind the wall.
He said his insurance company estimated the damage at between $25,000 and $50,000.
Kulesza said the fire exited the building through a lint vent, melting an outer cap at the end of the lint vent. Burn marks from the flames were visible on the exterior of the building.
Lt. Tim Metcalf climbed a ladder on the west side of the building and dug a 2ft by 2ft hole with an ax around the end of the vent to ensure the fire did not enter the interior of the exterior wall, according to Kulesza.
“We just wanted to check in and make sure everything was okay,” Kulesza said.
He said the cause of the fire was a dryer malfunction that ignited lint in the vent tube, which spread into the laundry room walls.
Flier said the dryer was only a year and a half old and she was checking with the manufacturer to see if what happened was a known issue.