Smoke fills Holiday Inn Express, forces evacuation

Firefighters investigate the cause of smoke inside the Buell Avenue Holiday Inn Express on May 6th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Firefighters investigate the cause of smoke inside the Buell Avenue Holiday Inn Express on May 6th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA – Several dozen firefighters from Cheektowaga, Lancaster, and Depew responded to the Holiday Inn Express on Buell Avenue Sunday night after smoke filled the building.

Around 30 guests were forced from their rooms according to U-Crest Fire Chief Bryan Chapman after smoke filled the common areas on all four floors of the building just before 9 pm.

Firefighters investigate the cause of smoke inside the Buell Avenue Holiday Inn Express on May 6th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Firefighters investigate the cause of smoke inside the Buell Avenue Holiday Inn Express on May 6th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

Firefighters could not find the source of the smoke after an initial check of the hotel’s laundry and electrical rooms – a common source for minor fires in hotels.

It was not until a hotel employee told firefighters that the heating system was turned on for the night did firefighters find an issue with a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit on the roof.

The unit was shut down and the guests were allowed to go back to their rooms after the smoke dissipated.