Radiant heat from the boiler system at The Virginian Motel, 930 E. A St., caused the fire that forced the motel's closure, according to a news release from the Casper Fire-EMS Department on Friday afternoon.

The fire also displaced eight occupants, who were relocated with the help of the American Red Cross and a City of Casper CATC bus.

While radiant heat caused the fire, Casper Fire-EMS needs to look at whether a malfunction or operating error caused the problem with the boiler system

No injuries were reported, and the extent of the damage has not been determined yet. However, the damaged appeared to be mostly contained to a wall and the area beneath the floor in the utility room.

Owner Chantelle Virachack said earlier Friday a boiler may have been the source of the flames.

The fire was reported at about 8:45 p.m. Thursday, when a 911 caller said smoke was coming from the utility room.

Hotel guests and staff were evacuating when firefighters arrived, according to a news release from Casper Fire-EMS. Four engines, one truck and a battalion chief responded with the assistance of the Casper Police Department.

Firefighters reportedly found flames on the floor and wall of the utility room. They had to enter the crawl space and the wall in order to extinguish the blaze.

Fire crews stayed late to investigate. Craig Kidder of Casper Fire-EMS says investigators hope to determine a cause of the fire within the next few days.

The hotel will close for the rest of December, Virachack says, while repairs are completed. The Virginian will reopen once things are back to normal.

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