Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

The Baker City Fire Department on Monday closed the Super 8 motel and Motel 6 in Baker City after inspectors found that the fire alarm systems had been disabled at both motels, and that the sprinkler system was partially dismantled at the Super 8.

“These system disablements pose a significant life safety risk to occupants of the motels, particularly guests that sleep in these facilities,” Baker City Fire Chief John Clark said in a press release Tuesday.

Clark said both motels, which are owned by the same group and which between them have 112 rooms, will remain closed until the owners have corrected all the violations of the Oregon State Fire Code.

Clark said the owners had brought in a contractor from Meridian, Idaho, to look at both motels Tuesday.

He said he can’t estimate how long it might take to fix the violations, although he believes the problems at the Motel 6 (formerly the Always Welcome Inn, at 175 Campbell St.) would be simpler to rectify.

“I don’t see the Super 8 as being a quick fix,” Clark said in a Tuesday interview.

The motel owners submitted a statement this afternoon: "We at the Super 8 and Motel 6 want to express our concern for the Baker community and the guests we serve. We want to thank the fire chief and city officials for informing us of the possible danger our hotels faced. We keep safety as priority one at all of our properties and we are doing everything in our power to remedy this situation as quickly and efficiently as humanely possible. We want to assure our fellow Baker tourism businesses, we will not allow this to effect upcoming events and meetings. We have been striving to be beneficial to all of our tourism family. We want to thank the community for your support and understanding during this time! We will be back in full operation and serving the community in no time!"

See more in Wednesday's issue of the Baker City Herald.