CHECOTAH, Oklahoma - A fire badly damaged the Americas Best Value Inn and Monroe's Sports Bar in Checotah Tuesday morning, according to Ronnie Ross of the Texanna Fire Department.

The motel and bar are near the junction of Highways 69 and 266, not far from the Creek Nation Casino.

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Checotah police officer were first on scene after seeing heavy smoke from the area. Everyone staying at the motel was able to get out, News On 6 has learned.

The cause of the fire hasn't been determined, but it's believed to have started from Monroe's bar that is connected to the motel. The co-owner said she was out front when a ball of fire came from the kitchen into that area. She said she barely made it our alive. 

Five departments responded to the scene including Checotah and Texanna. 

Firefighters say they'll be on scene for a while trying to get the fire completely out. Fire chief Greg Carmack says the building isn’t safe enough to send firefighters inside, so they’ll have to remove some of the exterior walls before they can keep working to extinguish the flames.

“For us, it’s pretty big. We’re used to residential structure fires,” said Carmack. 

We'll continue to update this developing story as more information is confirmed.