Fire closes Fond du Lac hotel

Firefighters put out a fire at the Comfort Inn hotel in Fond du Lac, July 18, 2014. (Photo courtesy Fond du Lac Fire Dept.)

FOND DU LAC - Two people were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation after fire damaged a Fond du Lac hotel.

Firefighters say they were called to the Comfort Inn, 77 Holiday Ln., around 9:15 a.m. They quickly put out a fire that began outside the hotel near a door where a garbage can was located.

Judy Moore was working in the hotel kitchen when the alarms went off.

"I went outside, and saw a whole bunch of smoke. I ran back in and said Bradley, the building is on fire, and he said start getting everybody out," said Moore.

Brian Kersey, a hotel guest, had just returned from eating breakfast at the inn.

"We were just past the middle of the hotel on the side of the fire. You could see the smoke. You wouldn't want to walk the other way down the hallway," said Kersey.

The hotel was booked. Many were in town for a music festival near Oshkosh.
"All 78 units were occupied. So rescue was a huge priority for our department on arrival," said Steven Beer, Fond du Lac Fire Department Assistant Chief.

Beer says everyone got out, but there were injuries.

"We did transport one person that was an employee here for smoke inhalation. The second victim was requested for smoke inhalation. I do not know if it was an employee or a tenant," said Beer.

More than a dozen departments were called to help. Beer says with temperatures outside near 80 degrees, 75 firefighters worked the fire in 20-minute shifts.

"Being in a place where we have long stretches, with hose lines up stairs, and down hallways, stuff like that," said Beer.

Fire investigators were called in to look for a cause. The hotel manager said it was too early to estimate the damage.

People were allowed back into the hotel to get their belongings, but they had to find another place to stay.