Two men were killed and two dozen hotel guests were forced to flee their rooms yesterday in three separate fires during the early morning hours in the metropolitan Washington area.
Joseph Edward Bateman died in a 2 a.m. fire in a three-story apartment building at 3346 Huntley Square Drive in Temple Hills. Prince George's County firefighters, who brought the fire under control by 2:25 a.m., found Bateman's body in the bedroom of his apartment.
No other injuries were reported. Damage was estimated at $63,000. According to a fire department spokesman, the building did not have a smoke detector, which is required by county law, and criminal charges may be filed against the owner.
In Washington, an unidentified man was killed in an8:30 a.m. fire at 1933 13th St. NW after he apparently was smoking in bed, fire officials said.
The man, who was found in a top-floor bedroom of a three-story row house, suffered burns over 100 percent of his body and was pronounced dead at the Washington Hospital Center.
A third fire caused an estimated $1 million in damage to the lobby and the fourth and fifth floors of the Quality Inn in Fairfax City and forced 24 guests to evacuate the hotel.
No injuries were reported in the2 a.m. fire, which took firefighters four hours to extinguish. The five-story motel in the 11000 block of Main Street did not reopen yesterday, and the 34 registered guests had to find other accommodations because of extensive fire and smoke damage, fire officials said.
The cause of the fire was still under investigation yesterday, according to James Anderson, Fairfax City Fire battalion chief, who said, "Arson is not suspected at this time."
The fire is believed to have started in the elevator shaft of the motel.