Temple motel destroyed by fire - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Temple motel destroyed by fire

Lawton_The Oklahoma town of Temple woke up to the smell of smoke on Thursday morning as the only motel for miles caught fire with four people inside.  Firefighters worked on extinguishing the blaze for nearly eight hours, and while the smoke still lingered, the owner inspected the damage done to the business he has only owned for a year.  Those inside got out of the motel safely, although they did have to cough off the effects of smoke inhalation which was their only injury thanks to a woman they call a hero.

Dallas Jiacomini is the manager of Sleepy Sands Motel in Temple and she woke up to the smell of smoke at about 5 a.m.  "Dallas came and knocked on the door, doing a lot of screaming, and my first impression was ‘what in the devil is she screaming about?'" said motel owner Tim Covais.  "The smoke was just so thick you couldn't see anything, and we had to go out cough and throw up, and go back and bang on the door some more," said Jiacomini.

Covais estimates that the motel's worth was about $250,000.  The now destroyed structure is the only motel in the town, it meant a lot to locals since the nearest motel is 20 miles away.  The fire marshal says the fire started because of an electrical problem in the attic.  It quickly spread throughout the entire building. 

Jiacomini held back tears as Covais described her heroics.  "It's still a little shaky, but we'll get through.  Everyone came out alive, and that's the important thing," she said.  Covais says that Jiacomini dropped everything to make sure everyone else was safe.  "Just the fact that she took the initiative instead of grabbing her stuff, she made the effort to let us know there is a fire going on," he said.  "That means a lot to me - Dallas is a hero as far as I'm concerned."

Covais says it's too early to decide what he should do next, but count on 7News to let you know if he decides to rebuild. 

The four people who were inside the hotel were Jiacomini and her boyfriend, Covais, and an 85-year-old guest visiting his 100-year-old brother who lives in Temple.

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