A Devils Lake hotel burst into flames early Wednesday morning and over a dozen people were evacuated.
Fire Chief Jim Moe said the department was called because smoke was pouring from a meeting room at the Fireside Inn, 215 Highway 2, about 6 a.m. Before firefighters reached the building, there were reports of flames flooding from the hotel and guests evacuating.
Moe said some guests left in their cars, but the department brought a school bus for about a dozen other guests to sit in as they extinguished the flames.
Moe said 20 firefighters responded in five vehicles and spent about an hour fighting the fire.
No one was injured, but Moe said the meeting room was a total loss and there is heavy smoke damage throughout the building. He estimates there is about $50,000 worth of damage.
Firefighters determined the blaze was caused by a faulty heater. Moe said hotel staff reported problems with the combination heater/air conditioning system the day before and it was taken out of use. Not everyone was notified about the problems and the machine was plugged in again Wednesday, which ignited the fire.
"I'm just happy there was nobody hurt and everybody is safe and sound-firefighters and the people that were staying at the hotel," Moe said. "With situations like this there's always the potential for some real serious problems."