Nearly 50 guests escaped early Thursday morning as flames and explosions ripped through a northeast Oklahoma City motel.
Around 3 a.m., sleeping guests at the Super 8 Motel at 12008 N. Interstate 35 Service Road awakened to the smell of smoke. They soon discovered the building was on fire. Some guests ran door to door, alerting others about the fire.
"The whole hallway was on fire," said motel guest Jay Pateal. "It was like a big blaze going out upstairs and downstairs."
When firefighters arrived, they faced two big obstacles. Propane tanks stored at the motel exploded, forcing them back. There were also no fire hydrants in the area, which slowed their firefighting efforts. They had to use water from a nearby water tower to fight the flames.
Firefighters say it appears the three-alarm fire started in a stairwell, but they don't yet know how. They are calling it suspicious. The fire marshal's office is investigating.
All guests were safely evacuated from the motel. One guest had to be treated for smoke inhalation, but no one was seriously hurt.
The remaining guests were moved to other motels.