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Motel fire in northeast Oklahoma City called suspicious

Deputy Chief Marc Woodard said more than 50 firefighters battled a blaze before dawn Thursday at a Super 8 motel in northeast Oklahoma City. There were no serious injuries reported.
BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Modified: January 31, 2013 at 9:17 pm •  Published: January 31, 2013

Guests were evacuated from a north Oklahoma City hotel before dawn Thursday after a fire authorities were calling “suspicious” damaged several rooms.

Deputy Fire Chief Marc Woodard said there were no serious injuries in the fire at the Super 8 motel on a service road near NE 122 and Interstate 35. He said about half of several dozen rooms in the hotel were full, and guests left on their own once the fire began.

The fire gutted two upstairs guest rooms and a storage area on the south side of the two-story structure, according to Woodard. He said two ground-level rooms just below the gutted upper rooms had major smoke damage.

Woodard said 50 firefighters spent about a half hour fighting the flames and had to work around relatively low water pressure.

“We had some low water pressure ... so we called in extra personnel to bring water tankers in,” he said.

Woodard declined to speculate on a cause of the fire, saying he didn't want to compromise the investigation.

“It's suspicious, but it's undetermined at this time what the cause was,” Woodard said.

The fire chief said winds carried the smoke from the sizable fire away from the interstate and there was no problem with visibility for passing motorists.

Fire Battalion Chief Brian Stanaland said he saw the fire before dawn while driving along the interstate to work.

“The smoke went pretty much straight up in the air. We didn't have a lot of wind blowing,” Stanaland said. “It was a big fire.”

A phone call to the motel was not answered Thursday afternoon.

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