Mutual aid called in for structure fire at Canton Motel

The scene around midnight on Sunday, November 6, 2011 / Photo and video submitted by Betsy Bouldin

UPDATED: November 7 at 4:18 a.m.

Investigators will get their first look at the burned out Canton Motel once the sun comes up Monday morning.

The State Fire Marshal's office has been called into investigate what could be a suspicious fire.

Fire Chief Jeff McReynolds tells KHQA the building is unoccupied and utilities have been cut off for about four months.

About 30 firefighters from four departments battled the blaze which had a lot of heavy smoke.

Chief McReynolds says the fire itself was fairly easy to contain, and he knew what he was getting into once the firefighters got on the scene.

Chief Jeff McReynolds says, "I live just down the street so I had to respond past this location to get to the fire. When I went passed, we had a second floor apartment or unit was fully involved. It had already vented out a window. The main office on the downstairs was also fully involved."

People on the scene told KHQA the building has been used mainly for storage for the past six months.

*Photo submitted by Betsy Bouldin of Canton.


UPDATED: November 7 at 1:25 a.m.

Lewis County fire crews have contained what was a large structure fire at the Canton Motel in downtown Canton.

Just after 11 p.m. Sunday night, witnesses reported flames shooting out of the main building of the motel. By midnight, Canton fire along with mutual aid continued to battle heavy smoke taking over the two-story building.

Canton police also assisted in blocking traffic around the area, including Route B near Main Street.

People on scene told KHQA's Beau Hicks the motel has been closed the last six months and was being used for storage. No one was in the building at the time of the fire and all utilities had previously been turned off. That information led Canton Fire Chief Jeff McReynolds to call in the State Fire Marshal for an inspection of the scene. We'll continue to update you throughout the day Monday as more information becomes available.