A fire at the Quality Inn in Havelock forced guests to evacuate Friday night, but no one was injured.
Rick Zaccardelli, chief of the Havelock Fire and Rescue Department, said the fire was contained to one room – No. 108 – and firefighters needed just about five minutes to put out the flames.
He said there had been a guest staying inside the room.
“She was in the room, walked out of the room, and was gone for about five minutes,” Zaccardelli said. “She walked back in and saw fire.”
Zaccardelli said preliminary evidence points to the heater in the room as the starting point, but that a fire marshal would make the official determination.
The heater unit in the room is located underneath the window in the room. Zaccardelli said drapes surrounding the heater burned and spread the fire.
Fire damage was contained to the one room, but there was smoke damage in others. Firefighters had to gain entry to the rooms above and next to No. 108 to make sure the flames had not spread.
Zaccardelli indicated that at least one person used a fire extinguisher in an attempt to put out the flames.
Zaccardelli said the smoke detectors in the hotel worked and gave ample warning for the hotel guests to evacuate.
“All the alarms went off,” he said. “They were actually just checked a few weeks ago when the fire marshal came out here and did an inspection.”
The hotel guests were standing outside the front lobby when firefighters arrived shortly after the 7 p.m. call. They were allowed back inside the lobby shortly afterward, as many had left without grabbing coats to guard against temperatures in the upper 40s.
A manager on duty at the hotel said she was too busy looking after her guests to comment.