North Highlands Hotel Fire Being Investigated as Arson

NORTH HIGHLANDS --  A two-alarm fire that damaged rooms at a North Highlands hotel Sunday morning has been ruled as arson, Sacramento Metro Fire said.

The fire began just before 10 a.m. Sunday at the Courtyard Inn on Orange Grove Avenue. The fire was primarily contained to one upstairs unit in the hotel with additional smoke and water damage to three downstairs units.

Sacramento Metro Fire said in a statement Sunday afternoon the room had evidence pointing toward forced entry, leading investigators to suspect arson. Greg Held, a Courtyard Inn maintenance worker, told FOX40 the door was wide open when he first ran in to put out the flames. He adds he left within seconds because of the severity of the fire.

No one was staying in the room at the time.

A unit with the Sacramento Sheriff's Department was also nearby the fire and helped hotel occupants in rooms nearest to the fire evacuate without injury.

Deaundrea Hubbart was staying just a couple of doors away from where the fire started when her child noticed the smell of smoke in the air and alerted the family to get out. Hubbart said they had been living in the hotel since August after evacuating her Houston, Texas home because of Hurricane Harvey.

"The things that we had there were all lost in the hurricane, and I thought here today, 'Oh my God, I'm gonna lose everything again,' but fortunately lives were saved here," she said.

No civilians or fire personnel were injured in the fire, according to Metro Fire.

The investigation into who started the fire is ongoing. Anyone who may know anything is asked to call the arson tip line for the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department at 916-859-3775.