Thunder Bay

Fire hits Pickle Lake hotel

Guests of the Winston Hotel in Pickle Lake, Ont. were forced out of their rooms just before 3 a.m. Thursday morning.

Patrons put up at nearby school

The only hotel and its restaurant in Pickle Lake, Ont. have been badly damaged by fire.

Guests of the Winston Hotel were forced out of their rooms just before 3 a.m. Thursday.

Emergency services also evacuated all buildings within 500 metres of the hotel because of concerns that propane tanks attached to the restaurant might explode. No one was hurt in the blaze.

Pickle Lake's acting mayor Janice Pickett said she was told the fire may have started in the kitchen area. She said the Winston was the only bar, restaurant and hotel in town.

"There's certainly no other place that has that many rooms available," Pickett said. "There's a couple of [bed and breakfasts] in town, but to take that kind of overflow, I don't know what we're going to do yet."  She said the hotel has about thirty units, and was almost full.

Pickett said the principal of the local school opened the school doors early this morning to accommodate the evacuees from the hotel . 

She said guests at the hotel included hydro and highway construction workers.