Hotel where victims of house fire were staying catches fire

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Firefighters were called to battle a two-alarm fire at a Southeast Memphis Hotel early Thursday morning.

Investigators say the fire appeared to have been intentionally set.

More than a dozen people had to rescued from their second floor rooms at the Governors Inn & Suites on Mt. Moriah. Several others jumped from windows to escape the fire, which started around 5:30 a.m. on the second floor.

Firefighters were able to put it out quickly and said it appeared someone set the carpeting in one of the rooms on fire.

"This morning we woke up and there was a lot of smoke inside our room," said Anita Defell.

Defell, her husband, and their seven kids were all staying on the second floor.

They checked into the hotel last week after police said someone tried to burn down their home.

A neighbor was charged with aggravated arson.

Defell said she never thought her children would have to go through this again.

"They were panicking, screaming and hollering."

The fire at the Governors Inn happened one day after Defell and her husband talked to WREG about the fire at their house.

They don't know if the two are connected, but can't believe someone would put so many lives at risk.

"I don't know what this world is coming to.  It's crazy.  A lot of people could have died today," said Defell.

She said once again her kids are homeless.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

One person was treated for smoke inhalation and is expected to be okay.

The Governors Inn was shut down back in May for drugs and prostitution, but allowed to reopen after complying with orders from the District Attorney.


  • DetlaEB

    This Hotel was one of the City’s Best when first built. I attended many meetings there. Just a great place-Such a shame to see the rundown condition now.

  • Some Body

    Hopefully it will be repaired soon and back in operation; however, it appears that they management policies have allowed the local rif raf to creep back in even after their last public thrashing for alleged prostitution trafficking. If they don’t fit it, it should be scraped and ad another car lot. That would be better than what it is at the moment.

  • jihn

    Well maybe its me, but ummmm!!! I smell a rat something dont seem right. Lets see, they left their current place because of fire, been at this place a week, and 1day before they have to leave the hotel catches fire on the second floor where they just happen to be staying. Hmmm!

    • Joe

      Obviously you didn’t read the story. Or if you’re unable to read, you could watch the video. In either method, it is clearly explain that the hotel was reopened after following orders from the DA’s office.

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