Fire damages Lava Hot Springs motel complexAug 1st, 2015 | By vgrieve | Category: Uncategorized
LAVA HOT SPRINGS — A kitchen fire spread quickly and caused significant damage at a popular motel and campground just outside Lava Hot Springs on Monday night.
Jerry Johnson, co-owner of the Ranch Motel and Campground, located on Highway 30 about a mile west of the tiny resort community of Lava, said the fire started in a cabin behind the motel about 8:30 p.m.
The tenant was cooking French fries, and when the fire started, he attempted to douse it with water. The fire flashed, causing it to spread quickly to the nearby motel.
“It caused enough damage to put us out of business,” Johnson said. “It’s tough when you have 90 days to make your living for the year and you lose half of that.”
Johnson said the damage was concentrated in the office and an office apartment, but much of the building sustained smoke damage.
The tenant received minor burns on his hands when the fire flashed, and he was treated at the scene.
Lava Hot Springs Fire Chief Ken Fagnant said the cabin was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived on the scene.
“We put our efforts into saving the motel,” Fagnant said.
Fagnant said eight firefighters from Lava Hot Springs, three from Mc-Cammon and five fighters from Inkom responded to the blaze. Inkom also brought a water truck and an engine to the scene.
Crews remained on the site of the fire for about three hours, he said.
The fire burned under the eaves and under metal flashing, and Fagnant said a portion of the motel’s roof also sustained fire damage.
The fire chief urged residents to make sure that a fire extinguisher is accessible in the kitchen.
“And never, ever throw water on a grease fire,” Fagnant said. “It will cause the fire to flash and spread.”
Johnson said the campground will remain open and the motel will be rebuilt.
“We have to; it’s how we make our living,” Johnson said.