Four suffer injuries in massive Lawrence hotel fire, crews on scene for more than 24 hours

Blaze reported at 515 McDonald Drive

The America’s Best Value Inn was destroyed in a major fire on Monday in Lawrence. (Tom Harper @lawrencemodern)

Fire crews in Lawrence have been on the scene of a blaze, which caused minor injuries to four people, for more than a day.

 

The fire was reported shortly before noon Monday at America’s Best Value Inn, 515 McDonald Drive.

One hotel staff member and three firefighters were injured, however none of them required hospitalization, Lawrence fire marshal James King said.

Crews from multiple agencies responded on Monday.

Around 7:45 p.m. Monday, firefighters determined the west wall of the building was weak and in danger of collapsing. A nearby apartment building was evacuated as a precaution. Heavy equipment was brought in and the wall was dismantled. Residents were allowed to return to their homes by 10:30 p.m., King said.

Fire crews remained on the scene Monday night and into Tuesday to manage flare ups and extinguish hot spots.

Around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, King said a crew of four was still on scene along with the fire investigation unit. Investigators are conducting interviews and pursuing leads.

“This is an open and active investigation,” King said in an email.

Crews have worked throughout dangerously cold conditions. At 7 a.m. in Lawrence, the air temperature was minus 6 and the wind chill was minus 20, said John Woynick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

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