DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - Guests at the Sahara Motel in Desert Hot Springs got a rude awakening Tuesday morning when a fire broke out just after 4 am.
"The first arriving units found smoke coming from the roof of the structure," said Riverside County Fire Department Battalion Chief, Rick Griggs. "They immediately set up a fire attack and we continued in with a total of nine fire engines and a latter truck company to find heavy fire in the attic of the second floor of the building."
Guests staying in the four motel rooms that caught fire evacuated safely before fire crews arrived. According to Griggs, it appears the fire was caused by a mechanical malfunction in a ventilation fan. He said the fire was out and contained within thirty minutes.
Hotel staff provided new accommodations within the hotel for the displaced guests. Despite their rude awakening, those guests plan to return to the Sahara Motel in the future.
"Everybody is safe, we are happy," said hotel guest, Jackline Relis.
In order to be prepared for situations like this, Griggs suggests individuals know exit routes and locations of alarm systems when staying at hotels.