Herald Staff Report
Rod and Bernadette Carter decided to spend the night in Clinton rather than drive to their home near Dodgeville, Wis.
But, like the rest of the guests at the Super 8 Motel, they needed to find another place to stay before the night was over.
The Carters and other guests were forced to relocate because of a fire at the motel Thursday at 1711 Lincolnway Blvd.
The Clinton Fire Department was dispatched to the Super 8 at about 11:20 p.m. Thursday for a report of the fire alarm system activating with smoke reported on the second floor from an unknown source.
“The fire alarm went off, and I didn’t know what was going on,” Rod Carter said. “I thought it was the alarm clock. I was pushing buttons.”
When he realized the sound was the fire alarm, he and his wife left their room.
“We went down the hall and pounded on doors,” he said. “At the end of the hall, black smoke was coming out. We were right below and across the hall.”
Guests were evacuated from the motel, and when firefighters arrived, smoke was visible from the second floor, according to a release from Battalion Chief Joel Atkinson. A second alarm was issued at about 11:30 p.m., for four additional personnel, bringing the total number of responders to 15 Clinton personnel and five Camanche personnel, along with members of the Clinton Police Department and the Gateway Area Red Cross.
Equipment on the scene included two ladders, an engine, two ambulances and an emergency intervention team from Camanche.
“The fire (was) extinguished quickly and contained to a single room within the structure,” the incident report said. No injuries were reported.
Firefighters concentrated their efforts on a second-story corner room closest to Lincolnway and 17th Street.
An investigation is ongoing with damage estimated around $25,000 to the structure and contents.
After about an hour of waiting in the parking lot, the evacuated guests were allowed back in the motel to collect belongings. The motel staff was helping guests find other accommodations, according to the report.
For the Carters, it turned a spur-of-the-moment decision into a memorable experience.
“We didn’t plan on staying in town,” Rod Carter said. “We were doing a book fair for charity at DM Service, and we live 2 1/2 hours away, so we said, ‘Let’s stay.’”