WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) – A fire at Valley West Inn, an extended stay hotel in West Des Moines, destroyed the building and displaced several people.
West Des Moines Fire Marshal Mike Whitsell said the West Des Moines Fire Department received the call about the fire at 11:16 p.m. Monday evening. When they arrived, smoke and flames billowed from inside the building.
“When our firefighters started to get out of the truck to investigate and put out the blaze, we had residents everywhere. There were residents at the windows. Some of them were climbing out the windows. There were other residents who were taking our children firefighters out of the windows. Infants, young children. People were coming to us to report that other people were trapped, ”said Whitsell.
Two people who were inside the building were sent to local hospitals for treatment and Whitsell said at least one of those people had been treated and released. He said half a dozen residents had been treated on site by medics.
The Valley West Inn has 127 rooms which were occupied at the time of the fire.
Whitsell said West Des Moines firefighters outnumbered residents when they arrived and it took additional teams from Johnston, Urbandale, Clive, Windsor Heights and Waukee to get everyone out of the building safely and control the flames.
A resident, Brad Howard, moved into the extended stay hotel six months ago. Howard said what started out as a peaceful Monday night quickly turned into a dangerous situation.
“Within 15 to 20 minutes, it was obvious that I had to get out of the building. I couldn’t see down the hall, ”Howard said.
The West Des Moines Fire Department is still investigating the exact cause of the blaze, but says they’ve identified where it started, in a first-floor unit.