NEWINGTON - A fire at the Grantmoor Motor Lodge early Tuesday morning sent four police officers and two guests to the hospital to be checked for smoke inhalation.
Officer Tyler Grant was on patrol around 4:05 a.m. when he noticed smoke billowing from a first-floor room in the west wing of the 3000 Berlin Turnpike motel, Police Chief Stephen Clark said.
Grant radioed for help and began banging on doors to get guests out. He also helped get a woman and her child, who were staying in a room behind the one on fire, to safety, Fire Chief Christopher Schroeder said.
All three were taken to a hospital with symptoms of smoke inhalation, Schroeder said.
Officers Ralph Chater, Alan Tancreti and Michael Fallon, who arrived before firefighters and began banging on doors, were also taken to a hospital, officials said.
All four officers had been treated and released by 8 a.m., Clark said. Schroeder did not know if the woman and her child had been released, but said it appeared they had been taken to the hospital as a precaution.
“The police department should be credited with saving lives,” Schroeder said.
The room where the fire started had been rented, but it was unclear if the guests were there at the time, Schroeder said.
Fire officials started their investigation shortly after the blaze was put out, he said. They will be entering the room where the fire started and looking to talk to the guests who were staying in the room, Schroeder said.
People staying in the west wing of the motel were moved to the east wing, said Barbara Gigliotti of the Central Connecticut Health District. Forty-three rooms in all were occupied, she said.
The health district licenses hotels and motels in Newington. Gigliotti was at the scene Tuesday morning, waiting for town building officials to determine if structural damage in the wing where the fire occurred would require the entire motel to be closed.
At the height of the blaze, all four town fire companies were at the scene, while firefighters from Wethersfield, Berlin, Rocky Hill and Cromwell manned local stations.
The fire was contained in about 30 minutes, Schroeder said. Guests either sat in their cars in the parking lot or were placed in the lobby to stay warm, he said.
The east wing of the hotel had water, heat and electricity as of Tuesday morning, Gigliotti said.
The American Red Cross and the town’s Human Services Department will help with any relocation if the hotel has to be closed, she said.
The fire melted steel beams near the room in which the fire started, Schroeder said.
He expects the west wing to be shut down until repairs could be made.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.