An investigation is underway into what caused a Yankton motel to burn to the ground.
It happened at the Colonial Inn Motel on Broadway Street. The fire call came in between midnight and 1 a.m. Tuesday. When crews arrived on the scene they knew right away it was going to be a ferocious fire fight.
"We were able to stop the fire from going east, but we couldn't catch it going south. So we ended up bringing in a loader to help peel the roof and knock the wall down so we could stop it," Deputy Fire Chief Larry Nickels said.
The bitter cold didn't help either.
"We had a lot of problems with our air packs freezing, water gets into the regulators and they freeze up and we'd have to take them back to the station," Nickels said.
Even though the motel is a complete loss, firefighters say it could have been worse. Strangely enough, there was no one staying in the motel at the time.
"They get a lot of contractors, bikers and truckers, just happen to be in between," Nickels said.
87-year-old Marceda Jones lives right behind the motel, a place she has fond memories of when she was younger.
"I'm telling you I just cried, that was a nice motel," Jones said.
Jones worked at the motel 16 years ago. She said she woke up in the middle of the night because of the flashing lights and large flames.
"I was scared. I thought for sure my apartment was on fire, so I got up and looked and I seen the motel was on fire," Jones said.
Although firefighters haven't pin-pointed what caused the fire, they do have an idea of where it started.
It took nearly 60 firefighters from Yankton, Lesterville and Gayville to put the fire out.