Norfolk, Va. - Norfolk Fire-Rescue crews spent hours Wednesday battling a two-alarm fire at the M Star Hotel located at 7950 Shore Drive in Oceanview. Now the hotel has been slapped with 20 violations for not having smoke detectors properly installed, endangering guests and other violations.
Calls reporting the fire came in at 8:56 a.m.
When units arrived on scene at 9:00 a.m., heavy smoke was seen coming from the roof.
All occupants of the hotel were quickly evacuated. Norfolk Fire-Rescue confirms that they have completed primary and secondary searches of the hotel and found that it was clear of all occupants. No injuries have been reported.
Many evacuated occupants and witnesses at the scene are reporting they did not hear fire or smoke alarms go off in the hotel.
"If it wasn't for the person banging on the door, we'd have been in there and we wouldn't have been alive," said one man staying in the hotel.
"No, no alarm whatsoever. The alarm still hasn't gone off," John Jenkins said. "The hotel is burnt down and the alarm still hasn't gone off."
Norfolk Fire-Rescue reports crews swapped out fighting the fire to prevent heat exhaustion.
More than 55 firefighters from all fire stations in Norfolk, as well as Navy Engine 17 responded to the scene. Fire crews from Chesapeake and Virginia Beach also responded to help man stations in Norfolk while the Norfolk fire crews fought the fire.
"8 o'clock, I woke up to the smell of burning plastic. I called down and let them know I smelled burning plastic and a little smoke started to fill my room," says Jenkins.
She says she noticed smoke oozing from the electrical outlets.
"The plugs were smoking and my bathroom started smoking," says Schomisch.
The Red Cross has responded to the scene to assist the displaced occupants of the hotel, though there wasn't much they could do in terms of housing.
"The Red Cross provided as much as they could but they said since it wasn't a residence in that it's not a rental or a mortgage they couldn't set us up anywhere," said Zeb Kipps.
Displaced guests told Newschannel 3, that the owner of the M Star Hotel made arrangements for them to stay at nearby hotels for the night, but after check out on Thursday, they are on their own and will have to find their own shelter.
"The owner made arrangements for us to go next door for just one night but after one night I don't know what we are going to do," explained Pam Futrell.
No one was hurt in the fire, but two people from the hotel later went to the hospital. Fire officials said they suffered medical problems.