LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Lake Charles Fire Department responded to a 2-alarm fire at the America's Best Suites on Lakeshore Drive.
Fire Department officials reported the fire started at 5:53 p.m. and is now out. All of the guests staying at the hotel were evacuated after heavy smoke started to take over the building.
"The alarm went off and everybody said that it was a cigarette that caught on fire in the container. Then before they knew it they told us all to get out because smoke was going in the building," recalled Robert Benifiel, hotel guest.
The fire appeared to be near the lobby area in a column. Fire fighters used chainsaws to cut into the buildings exterior to see if the fire had spread to other areas.
7 companies responded to the call.
"When my first crew got here they noticed smoke coming from the outside canopy and there was fire in the column," said Chris Carroll, LCFD District Chief. "What we are going to do is to try to remove all of the hazard and smoke itself and it's going to be up to the management whether it's safe or not for guests to return."
We did put in a call to America's Best Suites but did not get an answer on whether guests were allowed back inside the hotel.