A Thursday afternoon fire at the Motel 6 in Clinton that apparently spread from a mulch bed outside the building to the roof and attic damaged at least 20 rooms and caused an estimated $550,000 damage, authorities said.
The two-story hotel is off state Highway 61 near Interstate 75. The fire was reported at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday. No one was injured.
The flames went up the side of the building and, driven by high winds, made it to the attic, where the fire burned through the roof, WYSH Radio in Clinton reported. Officials said at least 20 rooms were damaged by fire, and a large part of the rest of the building received smoke and water damage.
Firefighters tried to cut the roof to keep the fire from spreading, but that effort failed, a Clinton Fire Department report said.
Oak Ridge and Andersonville firefighters responded to help the Clinton Fire Department, which had 20 firefighters at the scene. The blaze was extinguished in about two hours, and crews remained on the scene for a few more hours monitoring for hot spots and flare-ups, WYSH said.
The Clinton Fire Department report estimated property losses at $300,000 and damage to contents at $250,000.
Firefighters used a ladder truck to spray water on the fire, and utility workers were called in to turn off power, natural gas, and hotel water.
The American Red Cross responded to help the people staying at the hotel, which is owned by Rocky Daya of Clinton, the report said.