Wednesday night fire at Howard Johnson hotel in Fort Myers

Reporter: Taylor Wirtz Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Fort Myers firefighters respond to a blaze at a Howard Johnson hotel of Cleveland Ave. Credit: Fort Myers Fire Department

A fire broke out at the Howard Johnson hotel at 4811 S. Cleveland Ave. in Fort Myers shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday night.

Tracy McMillion, fire chief of the Fort Myers Fire Department, says people in the part of the hotel affected by the fire were moved into other empty rooms in. Luckily, everyone is safe Thursday morning and no one was hurt by the fire.

The hotel’s owner says the fire started when someone living there left an appliance on.

Jeanette Johnson has lived at the hotel the past nine months and was able to save her dog and a neighbor of hers who has dementia. Johnson says it was scary because a lot of people at the hotel don’t know where else they would go.

“More worrying about [what] the aftermath is going to be, you know?” Johnson said. “A lot of the people here are struggling. Don’t have anywhere else to go, so if we get evacuated… it’s kind of unsettling.”

The fire marshal is working to determine the official cause, though the owner says it was an appliance.

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