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Fire damages Umatilla hotel

East Oregonian

Published on September 6, 2017 2:35PM

Last changed on September 6, 2017 6:52PM

A firefighter uses a ladder to enter the second story of the Tillicum Inn while fighting a fire in the hotel Wednesday in Umatilla.

Staff photo by E.J. Harris

A firefighter uses a ladder to enter the second story of the Tillicum Inn while fighting a fire in the hotel Wednesday in Umatilla.

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Firefighters from Umatilla and Morrow county respond to a fire at the Tillicum Inn on Wednesday in Umatilla.

Staff photo by E.J. Harris

Firefighters from Umatilla and Morrow county respond to a fire at the Tillicum Inn on Wednesday in Umatilla.

Buy this photo
A fire Wednesday seriously damaged the Tillicum Inn in Umatilla.

Photo courtesy Tom Roberts, Umatilla County Emergency Management

A fire Wednesday seriously damaged the Tillicum Inn in Umatilla.

The Tillicum Inn in Umatilla was seriously damaged by fire Wednesday. Multiple fire departments reported to the scene.

Photo courtesy Tom Roberts

The Tillicum Inn in Umatilla was seriously damaged by fire Wednesday. Multiple fire departments reported to the scene.


Umatilla’s Tillicum Inn was heavily damaged Wednesday by fire.

The hotel, located at 1481 Sixth Street, was the scene of hours of active firefighting and mop-up by fire departments from throughout the region, including those as far away as Pendleton.

The exact cause of the fire was not immediately known. But around 12:30 p.m., Umatilla Police Chief Darla Huxel said it was thought to have been related to maintenance work.

“They were working on a water line, or doing some soldering,” Huxel said.

She said she did not know if the person doing the maintenance work was an employee of the inn.

Huxel and other Umatilla police officers directed traffic as crews from Umatilla Fire Department battled the fire. They received mutual aid from Umatilla County Fire District 1 and Echo Rural Fire Department, Pendleton Fire Department and others.

Five or six people were staying in the motel at the time and were evacuated. Inn manager Josephine Kepich said she did not know details about what happened, and couldn’t comment until she could get in touch with the owner.

Outside the hotel, employees were discussing how to re-house their guests. The hotel has an annex behind the main building.

This is a breaking news story. For more updates, check back throughout the day at www.eastoregonian.com.







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