Lafayette, LA – At 2:10 a.m. this morning, Lafayette firefighters responded to a commercial fire at an abandoned hotel, 1421 South East Evangeline Thruway. When firefighters arrived on the scene, one of the large two-story buildings on the premise was engulfed in flames. Initially, five fire apparatus responded to the scene. However, after assessing the magnitude of the situation, multiple alarms were requested. The response quickly escalated to an additional three fire apparatus. As the fire spread to adjacent buildings, 3 more Lafayette fire apparatus were called out. The parish volunteers needed assistance with an aerial ladder from the Broussard Fire Department and water tankers from all parish fire departments and Breaux Bridge.
Firefighters battled the multi-alarm blaze for over 4 hours before it was controlled. First responders set up three aerial ladder trucks to aid in extinguishing the fire along with multiple hand-lines. Approximately 60 firefighters responded to the scene to combat the fire. One Lafayette firefighter sustained a minor ankle injury.
Fire crews remain on the scene, extinguishing spot fires with the assistance of a large excavator from the Public Works Department. Firefighters are expected to remain on the scene for several more hours. An initial search, limited, was conducted of the heavily damaged buildings as the homeless are known to occupy the abandoned motel. A further search of accessible areas will be conducted as the scene progresses. Individuals on the property were interviewed to determine if any known occupant was missing. At this time, no information was gathered to indicate any victims.
The abandoned hotel has been considered a seriously blighted property and a potential fire hazard for years. Progress was being made to demolish the structures by Lafayette Development and Planning Department.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.