FENTON, Mo. – Firefighters battled flames and freezing temperatures Friday morning at the former Stratford Inn in Fenton, Missouri.
The former Stratford Inn off of I-44 near Bowles was seen on fire at about 6 a.m. when a passerby saw smoke coming from the building and then called authorities. When fire crews first arrived, flames were seen coming from the large structure, according to Public Information Officer for the Eureka Fire Protection District Scott Barthelmass.
The fire went up to three alarms. Some 75 firefighters from 15 departments responded to the scene. The large response was due to the size of the building, having to search the large building, and the bitterly cold weather. Firefighters were working rotating shifts due to the cold temperatures. There was also a warming bus at the scene for crews. A salt truck was also at the scene in order to deter the water used to fight the fire from freezing up in the parking lot.
“This is tough work,” Barthelmass said. “How bitterly cold it is, your fingers freeze up very quickly and then you add water to this.”
No one was found in the building, and no injuries were reported. As of 9:30 a.m. crews were still at the scene.
The Stratford Inn has been completely shuttered since November 2018. That’s when families living there were forced to leave due to health and safety issues.
It is unknown at this time what started the fire.