'Flaming cinders falling from the sky': Fire tears through Super 8 Motel in Guelph
GUELPH -- A fire tore through the Super 8 Motel in Guelph Thursday morning, displacing guests and leaving the building uninhabitable.
Crews from five different stations were called to the intersection of Woodlawn Road and Silvercreek Parkway around 4:45 a.m. There were flames through the roof of two upper units when they arrived. Three top units were damaged in the fire, and some lower units have water damage.
"It went up and in like eight to 10 minutes it was just fully engulfed," said Billy Wade, who witnessed the blaze.
No firefighters were injured in the fire. One person was taken to Guelph General Hospital for smoke inhalation.
Wade said he helped paramedics identify motel guests in need of help.
"There was a girl in distress across the street and she was having a hard time breathing and I just went across and got the paramedics and they went over and they took her to the hospital right away," he said.
There were buses at the scene to provide warmth and shelter for people displaced by the fire.
"Our crews went in and did a great job stopping the fire and containing it to the top three units on the upper floor," said Guelph Deputy Fire Chief Monty Armstrong. "Several people have been displaced, and we have victim services on scene supporting them."
The Ontario Fire Marshal (OFM) arrived on scene Thursday afternoon to take over the investigation.
"The entire building is now uninhabitable," said Manny Garcia, fire investigations supervisor with the OFM.
He said 22 rooms were occupied when the fire broke out.
Multiple motel guests say someone was running door-to-door trying to wake everyone up.
"Woke up to a lot of banging and ringing. I didn't really hear a whole lot. The bell was really quiet and then all of a sudden I grabbed my cell phone and my vape and walked outside and there was a fire falling from the ceiling," said Matt Lopers, who was staying at the motel.
Lopers was sleeping in a room directly below the most impacted unit.
"There was no heat, it was just normal. I thought it was my alarm at first to wake up to go to work but as soon as I opened my front door I could see the flaming cinders falling from the sky,” he said.
The Super 8's owner said he's owned the business for about five years and is devastated by the fire.
The OFM said there's no damage estimate yet, but peg it in the millions.
Fire officials said they believe they have identified where the fire originated but a forensic engineer will arrive on scene Friday to try to determine how the fire started.