Fire destroys motel in Steele, N.D.STEELE, N.D. – Criminal investigators will be combing the remains of the Lone Steer Motel here after a Sunday morning fire burned the local landmark to the ground, Police Chief David Feland said.
By: Helmut Schmidt, Forum Communications, The Jamestown Sun
STEELE, N.D. – Criminal investigators will be combing the remains of the Lone Steer Motel here after a Sunday morning fire burned the local landmark to the ground, Police Chief David Feland said.
Feland was the first to arrive at the scene about 8:50 a.m., he said.
As smoke poured from the roof, Feland saw people fleeing through the hotel’s second-floor windows, making a short drop to another roof, then jumping into the bed of a pickup pulled up next to the building.
None of the 25 or so people living in the motel were injured, he said.
“Thank God, no. Everybody’s accounted for,” Feland said Sunday night.
Arson has not been ruled out as a cause, Feland said.
Two federal arson investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were expected in Steele today, he said.
He has also contacted the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Kidder County Sheriff’s Office and the county state’s attorney, he said.
It’s at least the third fire in recent memory at the motel, he said.
Most of the guests were with a construction crew doing work in the area, though there were other guests, including a family, who called the motel home, he said.
No other structures were affected.
The OK Motel is the only other motel in this town of 800 people, Feland said.
“It ends an era in Steele without the Lone Steer,” Feland said.
Steele is about 40 miles east of Bismarck.
Fire crews were still on the scene through the evening to handle any flare-ups, Feland said.