Tulsa Contemplates Tearing Down Rodeway Inn After Fire
TULSA, Oklahoma - The City of Tulsa is thinking about tearing down an old hotel that randomly caught fire.
The Rodeway Inn has been empty for about a year and a half. The city said since they had numerous problems here since it closed down. The City of Tulsa's Working in Neighborhoods Department says this abandoned inn is a problem property. The building has been condemned, and the city say it's clearly unfit for anyone to live in or use.
They say despite their best attempts to secure it, homeless people and crooks always seem to find a way inside.
"Lots of squatters and people stealing scrapping metal and stuff like that out of it," Working in Neighborhoods Supervisor Brant Pitchford said.
Pitchford says they had just boarded it up, again, on Monday. Two days later, those boards had already been torn down.
"Usually securing it is the biggest issue, we want to keep people out of it, we want to keep the public protected," Pitchford said.
That's so nobody goes inside and gets hurt... or starts a fire, like the ones this morning.
Firefighters found fires in different areas of the motel.
"It's an unoccupied structure and we had many callers from the highway who saw the smoke," Andy Little with the Tulsa Fire Department said.
Crews fought the fires from the outside - telling us it was too dangerous to send firefighters inside. It's not clear yet how the fires started - but Little says they expect to see problem fires like this one happen citywide as the temperatures fall.
"The building has been unoccupied for a while so unfortunately as the temperatures drop, people start breaking into these abandoned structures, not saying that was the case in this situation but it will happen increasingly," Little said.
That could take six months or longer and taxpayers would be stuck with the bill.