Fire fighters condemned the Inn Town Motel at 733 East State Street today, saying conditions there were unliveable. Dozens of occupants had to be relocated.
The motel was infested with rodents and a Rockford city attorney said if there had been a fire here occupants would not have made it out alive.
Rockford fire fighters say there were fire hazards all over the building. There were extension cords everywhere, the heat was not operating properly so people were using space heaters and even though occupants were not allowed to cook inside, there were hot plates in many rooms.
All those fire hazards are the official reasons the motel was condemned.
Says Frank Schmitt, Rockford Fire Department Division Chief of Fire Prevention, "There are a number of fire code violations here as well as electrical and some building codes. The main thing here is that we didn't have smoke alarms in all the rooms as we should,"
But neighbors say there were other problems going on inside.
"You could see see things going on over there all the time. You could even see drug deals going on a few times. There was a prostitute over there that used to put a little flower pot over there and say I'm in business come and find me," says Margaret Hagstrom, who lives across the street in the Faust Landmark retirement high rise.
She says she's happy to see the place shut down. She often feared to go out alone at night because of what she saw go on across the street.
Many of the motel occupants were living there long term. With the city's help they've all been relocated to other local hotels.
Schmitt says the motel is not necessarily shut down permanently, but the owner will have to bring in an architect to bring everything up to code.