An electrical issue that caused smoke on the fifth floor of the Ramada Inn forced an evacuation of the entire hotel Saturday night on North Illinois Street in Fairview Heights, according to fire officials.
Hotel guest Diamon Burnett, of St. Louis, was staying on the fifth floor with a group of friends for a spring break getaway. Burnett said she and her friends smelled smoke and went into the hallway where they saw smoke.
Burnett said they evacuated the hotel and were outside for 10 to 20 minutes before they were allowed to re-enter.
"They were really friendly with us," Burnett said of hotel employees. "They passed out covers and blankets to us."
Hotel guests staying on the first through fourth floors were able to return to their rooms at 10:10 p.m. Guests on the fifth floor were allowed to re-enter their rooms at 10:30 p.m.
A manager at the Ramada Inn said she had no comment about the incident and would not disclose how many guests were staying at the hotel Saturday night.
The Fairview Fire Department responded to a fire call from the hotel about 9:30 p.m. Saturday for a fire on the fifth floor, the top floor of the hotel.
Deputy Fire Chief Bruce Green said there was no fire, just smoke caused by an electrical outlet of a wall-mounted air conditioning unit that shorted out in an unoccupied room on the fifth floor. He estimated the damage to be approximately $100.
Twenty firefighters responded to the hotel from the Fairview Heights and O'Fallon fire departments. The Fairview Heights Police Department was also on the scene.
Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or firstname.lastname@example.org.