Metro-East News

Firefighters from 10 agencies battle blaze at Alorton motel with no serious injuries

Fire at Alorton motel

Firefighters battle a large fire at the Princess Motel in the 3700 block of Walnut Avenue in Alorton.
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Firefighters battle a large fire at the Princess Motel in the 3700 block of Walnut Avenue in Alorton.

Ten fire departments responded to a three-alarm fire Friday afternoon at an Alorton motel, bringing with them a total of 30 firefighters to battle the huge blaze.

Authorities said the people staying at the Princess Motel made it out safely. A firefighter from Camp Jackson sustained only minor burns.

Washington Park Fire Chief Sharon Davis said the fire started in a unit where a family was living. Heavy smoke and flames could be seen shooting from the back of the building.

The fire spread from that room to the second floor, and several cars parked nearby were also burned.

The owner of the business was on site, but he declined an interview about the fire.

Davis said the building structure contains both concrete and wood.

Signal Hill Fire Chief Tom Elliff said the fire quickly became more severe, prompting more fire departments to respond. The initial call reporting a fire on the first floor was upgraded while firefighters were in route because it spread to the second floor, according to Elliff.

Elliff said the fire was “marked under control” about an hour and a half after it was dispatched.

Some people use the motel for short stays, but others are long-term tenants. Elliff said the Red Cross was called to assist those who will need help.

The Illinois State Fire Marshall’s office was also called to investigate the cause of the fire.

The motel has been in Alorton for many years, according to Herb Simmons, with the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency. He said much of the building was destroyed Friday afternoon in a live video posted on the agency’s Facebook page.

Carolyn P. Smith has worked for the Belleville News-Democrat for 18 years and currently covers breaking news in the Metro-East. She graduated from the Journalism School at the University of Missouri at Columbia and says news is in her DNA.
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