Employee, firefighters put out Eureka hotel fire

Friday, December 19, 2014

Eureka Springs firefighters were dispatched to the Quality Inn Hotel at 196 E. Van Buren for a reported dryer fire about 7 p.m. Wednesday night.

According to a news release from Eureka Springs Fire and EMS, the evening shift clerk, Justin Stoppel said he noticed the door between the desk area and the laundry room was moving and rattling as if someone were in the laundry room. When he opened the door he observed a red glow inside the dryer. On closer inspection he discovered that the large industrial size dryer was on fire. Stoppel attempted to extinguish the fire with a portable fire extinguisher and was partially successful.

Upon gaining entry to the laundry room the firefighters found the large dryer still burning on the inside, the news release said. A fire hose was stretched from the fire engine and the fire was quickly doused.

The first arriving fire crew was hampered by a personnel shortage as part of the responding crew was diverted en route to a reported shooting near Holiday Island. As the remaining crew members began checking for hidden fire in and around the dryer two more staff members were pulled from the scene to assist on the shooting call.

No further fire was found at the Quality Inn. There was no damage to the structure and the room received minor smoke and water damage.

"The fire department commends Mr. Justin Stoppel for his quick thinking in using the fire extinguisher on the blaze," the news release said. "This is the third hotel in the last year to be saved from harm thanks to the quick response of a staff member with a fire extinguisher."

The fire is under investigation by Fire Marshal Jimmy Kelley.

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