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No one injured in Mitchell hotel fire

A Wednesday evening fire at a Mitchell business resulted in smoke damage but no injuries, authorities said.

Capt. Steve Nedved with the Mitchel Fire Division said an air conditioning/heating wall unit in a room on the third floor of the Super 8 hotel on South Burr Street malfunctioned and ignited a little after 6 p.m. Wednesday.

He said when firefighters arrived at the hotel, there were flames visible from the outside of the building. Firefighters were able to knock down the flames fairly quickly, and then entered the building to verify the flames had been extinguished, according to Nedved.

Nedved said the room looked like it had been rented by someone, but was unoccupied at the time of the fire, which hotel staff confirmed.

No one was injured, but the second and third floors were evacuated upon firefighters’ arrival at the scene.

Firefighters remained at the scene for about 90 minutes.

The Mitchell Police Division also responded to the scene.

He said the room where the fire broke out sustained heavy smoke damage, and the hallway and some of the surrounding rooms will likely also have smoke damage.

While Nedved said he could not be certain what exactly caused the wall unit to malfunction, it appeared as though it could have been an electrical issue.

He noted that winter typically brings an uptick in electrical fires, due to electrical heating units, and urged people to take safety precautions — smoke alarms in particular.

“Smoke alarms are the first defense in warning occupants,” Nedved said, also stressing the importance of having electrical appliances checked, and not ignoring possible warning signs.

“If you’ve got breakers that are flipping, make sure you check why,” he said.

“They’re flipping for a reason.”