MT. VERNON, IL — The Economy Inn at 1317 Salem Road (Route 37) in Mt. Vernon was evacuated and closed Tuesday night while firefighters from multiple agencies spent nearly four hours fighting a blaze. According to the Mt. Vernon Fire Department, they were alerted around 5 p.m. Tuesday of a fire at the motel. The fire appears to have started in an occupied room, but no one was in the room at the time.
Upon their arrival, the first firefighters reported just seeing a haze in the air around the unit where the fire appears to have started. They soon discovered the fire had moved up a wall and into the attic where it quickly spread due to the lack of fire stops in the multi-unit building. The fire was ultimately confined to the attic across most of the south U of the building with only minor smoke damage to most of the units. No injuries were reported but all 30 of the occupied units on both sides of the building were evacuated and are not currently inhabitable due to no power or water to the building. The Red Cross was assisting occupants find alternate housing as most used the motel for long-term stays.
The State Fire Marshal’s office was called in to assist in determining the cause of the fire.
Jefferson Fire, Salem, Kell, Centralia City, Woodlawn, and Waltonville all provided equipment and manpower at the scene while Ashley provided station coverage in the event of another fire.
(above photo courtesy of WSIL-TV)