Fire destroys Corn Palace Inn motel room, as lone occupant inside managed to escape with minor injuries
"I heard popping and saw a bunch of smoke coming from the room. I wanted to make sure she was out of the room, and I saw she was,” Houser said of the female occupant in the room that caught fire
MITCHELL — Waking up to a plume of black smoke barrelling out of a nearby motel room was how Ryan Houser’s Friday morning started at the Corn Palace Inn.
At around 7:30 a.m. Houser heard unusual noises coming from a room two doors away from his at the Corn Palace Inn motel, which is when he discovered a room with an occupant was on fire.
“I heard popping and saw a bunch of smoke coming from the room. I wanted to make sure she was out of the room, and I saw she was,” Houser said of the female occupant in the room that caught fire. “I called 911 right away.”
Mitchell Fire Marshal Shannon Sandoval said the lone occupant of the room where the fire broke out managed to escape with minor injuries, primarily from smoke inhalation. Sandoval said everything in the room was deemed a total loss.
The room that caught fire was situated toward the center of the one-floor portion of the motel with rooms directly east and west of it.
“She was the only one in there. It did not spread to the other rooms,” Sandoval said, noting renovations of the rooms likely played a role helping reduce the fire from spreading.
The occupant was not transported to the hospital by emergency crews upon her request, according to Sandoval. She arranged her own transportation to receive medical assistance following the fire.
Sandoval was in the process of conducting his investigation into the origins of the fire, as of Friday morning. First responders were on scene for over an hour following the incident.
Firefighters managed to swiftly control the fire to the room it started in. Houser said his room, which is separated by one room in between, wasn't filled with smoke from the blaze. He managed to safely gather his belongings without any issues.
“I didn’t have any smoke in my room. I didn’t notice anything in my room,” he said.
Elimae Stubbe, a manager at the Corn Palace Inn, was on scene Friday morning assisting guests who were near the room that caught fire.
“I’m just glad no one got real hurt,” she said of the Friday morning fire.
Stubbe said all guests near the burnt room were provided new rooms in a different section of the motel that’s detached from the small row of rooms where the blaze occurred.