Harriman, Tenn (WVLT) - Fire investigators are back at the Super 8 Motel in Harriman today to try and figure out what started a fire that heavily damaged the motel Monday night.
Harriman Chief Wayne Best says right now his crews are just focused on putting out all the hot spots. Once that's done, he says investigators will be able to get inside to try to pinpoint the cause.
Best says fire crews were called to the motel Monday night around 7:15 p.m. They arrived to find the fire already had quite a head start. It burned late into the night. Flames could be seen billowing from the roof for more than three hours.
Best says the entire east wing is destroyed, and much of the west wing suffered smoke damage. New pictures from the scene show extensive damage in several room, and a portion of the rear of the hotel is collapsed.
Best says it's believed the fire was caused by an electrical problem, but he says investigators will make that final decision. Part of the hotel on the east wing was undergoing renovations.
Crews from Harriman, Kingston, Midtown and Rockwood brought seven water trucks to fight the flames.
Owner Sashi Patel has been a business owner here in Harriman for 28 years. He describes the scene when he arrived.
"I drove in and I drove into the hotel and I saw smoke coming into the top floor. By that time somebody had already pulled the pull station, the fire alarm was on. I Knocked on all the doors and made sure all the guests were out," said Patel.
Patel tells us he plans to rebuild, and that he's been through a similar situation years ago.
He does not know what his insurance will cover, but says he's most thankful nobody was hurt.
Only nine rooms were occupied at the time of the fire.
Fire officials say the roof is gone on the motel which was built in 1966.
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