North Bay News

Fairfield grass fire spreads to nearby motel

Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Fairfield fire Fire burns 50 acres in Benicia

In Fairfield a wind-whipped grass fire spread to a nearby motel around 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. Firefighters race to save the building as guests race to get out. The fire burned at the junction of Suisun Valley Road and Interstate 80.

Firefighters snuffed out the last of the flames caused by flying embers that crawled inside a palm tree. What started out as a grassfire on the side of Interstate 80 in Fairfield turned into a wind-blown wildfire.

"The fire was just blowing. The wind was just blowing the fire where ever it wanted to blow," said Chad Cubb, a Motel 6 guest.

Flying embers triggered spot fires all over the intersection at Suisun Valley Road. Some of them got under the roof tiles of the Motel 6 and pretty soon the roof was on fire.

"I got out of there as quick as possible. It was pretty close. It was probably 10 feet away," said Cubb.

"Opened the door and the smoke cloud came in, embers were everywhere. It looked like a big fire storm," said Rico Hernandez, a Motel 6 guest.

Firefighters say everyone was evacuated, but four motel rooms were damaged.

The flames blew closer to Mohammad Aslami who shot video from the window of the gas station where he works. He couldn't help thinking about the 30,000 gallons of gas stored underneath him. He told us, "I was just getting ready run. I was just getting ready to lock the doors and take off. If anything would have happened whole place would have been like a big bomb."

At the last moment, fire trucks rolled in and put out the flames just feet from the gas station and Aslami decided to stay put.

The motel couldn't give us a number of hotel guests, but said they were at 95 percent capacity when they evacuated the motel.

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benicia, cal fire, fire, wildfire, north bay news, alan wang
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