The fire, which was contained to one room, happened at the America’s Best Value Inn early Tuesday morning.
“A fire in a single unit. It started in a mattress; heavy fire load. We knocked the fire down in the main room,” St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said.
Firefighters transported four people to the hospital, including a woman and three children, as a precaution for minor smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire has not been determined, but investigators said the call was suspicious.
“This fire is under investigation right now,” Jenkerson said. “There are some situations in some areas that concern us tremendously, so were looking at it closely now.”
The motel was evacuated because of the fire. Because fire officials weren’t immediately notified by alarms, someone had to call it in. After inspecting the hotel, guests were allowed back inside, with the exception of the room that caught fire.
“The alarm was delayed a little bit, so we're looking closely at everything that happened and anything new all day,” Jenkerson said.
While Chief Jenkerson's team continues to investigate the fire, he’s reminding people to be safe and remind loved ones about the dangers fire and being careful while trying to stay warm.
The St. Louis Fire Department has responded to 18 fires over a three-day period. All but three of those cases involved occupied buildings.