A fire at a hotel near Tucker forced the evacuation of 55 guests late Wednesday night.
Firefighters responded to the Quality Inn on Ranch on Ranchwood Road near Lavista Road at about 11:30 p.m. They found witnesses who had already jumped into action, knocking on doors and waking up guests to tell them about the fire.
Derris Bradford said he ran toward the hotel when he saw smoke coming from the building.
"I ran around and told the owner and started running around and banging on all the doors and called 911. By that time, the flames had engulfed the top of the building," said Bradford. "People were in their rooms actually asleep, so I thank God I was able to see the fire before it got the point where it was and get everybody out of there."
Blake George also jumped into action when he saw the smoke coming from a stairwell area at the north end of the building.
"The first thing I did was grab a fire extinguisher. I could see the fire inside the column, so right away I went to trying to extinguish the fire," said George. "I was pretty much thinking about the people that was there and pretty much get them out."
"Our first concern was life safety," said Capt. Eric Jackson of DeKalb County Fire & Rescue. "We were able to facilitate and coordinate evacuating people from the perimeter of the hotel and from the first, second and third floor."
Firefighters contained the fire to the north side of the building. Most of the damage was to a stairwell area and the attic, Jackson said.
Authorities continue to investigate the cause of the fire. No injuries were reported. One person was evaluated at the scene for a possible anxiety-related issue.
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