Residents and guests evacuated following fire at Hotel Ottumwa

Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 6:57 PM CDT
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Update: Hotel Ottumwa residents and guests are being relocated for the evening to other area hotels. It’s unclear how long people will be re-housed for. A Hotel Ottumwa employee shared they believe the fire started due to an electrical issue in an elevator. The Ottumwa Fire Department has not confirmed that was the source.


Dozens evacuated and one is in the hospital following a fire at Hotel Ottumwa on Monday evening.

Firefighters received the call around 5pm for heavy smoke on the sixth floor. Captain Joshua Reynolds with the Ottumwa Fire Department says sprinklers on the sixth floor did help distinguish the fire until crews arrived.

Fire officials say residents and employees are not allowed in the building until the Wapello County health department gives the all clear for safety. One resident shared with KYOU, he was asleep when firefighters alerted him of the fire. He shared there was heavy smoke and was one of dozens on the sixth floor that had to evacuate.

One resident who was asleep on the sixth floor when the fire broke out said he was asleep when he heard banging on his door from fire fighters. “There was a lot of banging and yelling on my door,” Cade Shinkus said.

“We saw this guy kick in the ceiling because it was an electricity fire and then black smoke came out. When you first see that you think it was a horror movie,” Miles Snyder, who was staying at the hotel with his father, shared of the experience. Snyder added that the experience was “petrifying.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Tom Tom Tap and Second Street Café are restaurants in the hotel. Tom Tom Tap is not currently taking orders until tomorrow. Right now they are focused on taking care of their current customers. Second Street Café is currently closed and will re-open in 24 hours.

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