Fire Chief: Charred motel lacked smoke detectors

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A motel in the Florence area is recovering from a late-night fire, and it turns out several of the guests' room may not have been prepared.

The fire ripped through portions of America's Best Value Inn on TV Road Wednesday night.

Fire Chief of the Windy Hill Fire Department, which quickly responded to douse the flames, says 48 of the guest rooms in the motel did not have working smoke detectors.

Firemen also found a blind person inside a bathroom in a room where the fire had spread. They say the man did not know there was a fire in the building.

Law in Florence County requires all motels to have alarms in each room, but because the hotel was constructed in the 1960's, there is no penalty for failing to comply.

WMBF News Reporter Ken Baker spoke with the motel's owner who claims smoke detectors are provided in each room, but often guests remove them because the equipment is sensitive to cigarette smoke. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but the motel's owner says he is already considering changing his smoking policy.

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