Still Looking For Cause Of Fire At Battle Creek’s Econo Lodge
It’s been over a month since fire ravaged the troubled Econo Lodge in Battle Creek. The fire occurred as the motel was being closed as part of an agreement with the city. The cause of the fire has not yet been pinpointed.There’s been quite a list of people on the site. Along with local fire investigators, federal agents and representatives of the motel’s insurance company, and the motel owners have been involved.
Heavy equipment has been brought in to remove debris and open up parts of the building that have been blocked to access since the fire. The design of the building made it easier for the fire to spread and also made it harder for the city fire department to bring it under control. Several sections of the 25-thousand square foot structure collapsed making it difficult for investigators to conduct a thorough review of what was left. That is why the heavy lifting equipment has been used. A Michigan State Police K9, trained to react to chemicals often used to help start fires, was on the scene a couple days after the fire.
The motel was facing a legal battle with the city which was trying to force it to close. A 90 day closing offer was presented by the motel owners to the city. It was accepted to prevent a pending court hearing. There’s clearly little chance the motel will be reopening any time soon. And the city would challenge any plans to that end. The motel was the site of nearly 500 police responses the year prior to its closing and the fire.