RCMP in Dauphin said Thursday afternoon they had a male in custody, after a hotel fire early this morning destroyed the building and made 25 permanent residents homeless. 

Police said the fire at the Towers Hotel on Main Street broke out around 3 a.m. 

The building was evacuated and by the time crews arrived, it was engulfed. No one was injured.

The Office of the Fire Commissioner is investigating.

No further details about the person in custody were released. 

Red Cross opens shelter for evacuees

The Canadian Red Cross opened a temporary shelter in Dauphin Thursday to give the ousted residents a place to stay for the next few days. 

The Dauphin Friendship Centre initially took them in, spokesperson Suzie Secord said of the 25 residents, 13 have now found a place to stay with family or friends. 

The remaining 12 will stay in the Red Cross shelter until Monday.

Secord said most of the victims are elderly or vulnerable and many are grateful for any help. 

"They were so overwhelmed by the response from the community," she said. "They couldn't believe that the community cared about them that much. So it's been a real eye-opener for them as well."

Officials in Dauphin said they're working to find permanent homes for all the fire victims.

In the meantime, the Red Cross said it was supplying cots, blankets and hygiene kits to the dozen evacuees. 

Red Cross volunteers will also assess the residents individually to see what additional help can be provided, without duplicating the services of others. 

The aid agency said it was supplying cots, blankets and hygiene kits.

Red Cross volunteers will also assess the residents individually to see what additional help can be provided, without duplicating the services of others. 

To make a donation, call 1-800-418-1111 or go to the Canadian Red Cross website. 

Flames raged for hours, lighting up sky

Firefighters battled the flames at the historic hotel for hours, but the building was a total loss, officials said. 

The fire raged through the early hours, lighting up the area long before the sun came up as flames shot through the roof.

The residents were initially sent to a nearby shelter, escaping with little more than the clothes they were wearing.

The Dauphin Fire Department called in crews from the Gilbert Plains FD for help, and urged people to stay clear of the area.

On its Facebook page, the Dauphin FD kept an up-to-date status report through text and photos of the blaze.

It said firefighters initially attempted to get at the flames from inside the building but had to evacuate and fight it defensively from the outside.

"Upon arrival, firefighters were able to enter the building and did a quick search of all the rooms to confirm everyone had escaped," the Facebook page said.

"Due to the heat and smoke, fire fighters exited the building and began to fight the flames from the outside. Due to the age and construction of the building, it is difficult to contain the fire to one area."

At about 7:30 a.m., the department posted on Facebook that a decision had been made to bring in some equipment to demolish a portion of the hotel to protect the other buildings nearby.

Once some of the exterior walls had been torn away, fire fighters were able to direct their water inside the hotel.

By 12:30 p.m., the Dauphin FD posted an update, saying the hotel was pulled down.

"The structural stability was a great concern and the decision was made to demolish immediately," the posting said.