Building inspector condemns Miner, MO hotel after fire

(Source: Katrina James)
(Source: Katrina James)(Katrina James)
Updated: Jan. 23, 2019 at 11:19 AM CST
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MINER, MO (KFVS) - The State Fire Marshal is investigating a fire that started at the Country Hearth Inn in Miner, Missouri Tuesday morning.

More than a dozen hotel guests escaped the fire but lost their belongings and have had to find other places to stay.

The State Fire Marshal is still searching for the cause of the fire, but they don’t believe the fire is suspicious at this time.

According to Miner City Clerk Darren Skinner, a building inspector went over to the hotel on Wednesday morning to inspect the building. He said the inspector condemned the building until either it gets repaired or torn down.

Henry Eckles Jr. was inside room 206 when the fire broke out Tuesday morning. He feels lucky to still be alive.

“We could of lost of our lives in there. That is how serious it was," Eckles said. "People were diving out of windows getting out of there.”

Eckles said the first warning sign was not a fire alarm, but the smell of smoke coming from a nearby room. From there he was able to quickly escape but he did not have time to grab anything from his room.

“We lost everything. All of our possessions are gone," Eckles said. "Our clothes are gone. The money we had is gone. Our little kids picture from when they were kids is gone. Everything is gone, and now we are out here in the cold and nowhere to go.”

A recommended boil water order is in effect in Miner due to sediment in the water.

Crews were using a fire hydrant for the fire engines. The hydrant is connected to all of the other hydrants in the city, it is their water supply.

Crews also had tankers shuttling water from Sikeston’s supply to fight the fire.

There are some questions about a boil water order. We are not under a mandatory boil water advisement, it is...

Posted by Miner Police Department on Tuesday, January 22, 2019

With the near freezing temperatures and wind, firefighters on the scene say they had to keep an extra eye on things both to put out the flames and keep everyone safe.

“Luckily we’re not below freezing so we’re not really getting any of the effects of pumps freezing or any slick conditions,” said Lt. Derick Wheetley with Sikeston DPS. “We’re trying to monitor the weather, keep our personnel warm and out of the weather. So we’re watching that. We also had other hotels in the area opened up so we can have warming shelters.”

Each engine was pumping out 2,000 gallons per minute.

“Without the other departments, we wouldn’t be where we are at right now with this scene,” Wheetley added. "This area works great together. We have several departments, Miner, Sikeston, Scott County Rural, Oran, Dexter. We all work well together.

The fire happened on Tuesday morning, January 22.

According to Scott County Sheriff Wes Drury, six people have reported injuries. All were treated at the scene.

All occupants were evacuated from the building.

Miner Police Chief Chris Griggs said they got the call around 9:30 a.m. He said there were 15 people in the hotel at the time of the fire.

Two of the six people injured were first responders, according to Griggs.

He said the fire started on the second floor and two people jumped from the second story.

Griggs said the building is a total loss.

The cause remains unknown. Crews were boarding up the hotel after the fire.

At 12 p.m., fire crews entered the hotel to begin their investigation, while other firefighters continued to extinguish hot-spots.

Several viewers sent in photos.

Several departments responded to the scene including Dexter, Sikeston, Scott County Rural and Oran officials. Fire officials said there are nearly 60 firefighters, EMS and police officials at the scene.

Authorities say first responders made all the difference.

Some workers at the McDonald’s near the hotel gave out coffee to the first responders and fire crews battling the flames and the cold.

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