Ten rooms at the Parkview Motel on Main Street were damaged in a fire Monday night.
Columbia fire officials do not consider the fire suspicious at this time but they are looking for the man who was renting the room where the fire started, said Deputy Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins.
The fire began just before 11:30 p.m. in room 111 on the bottom floor, Jenkins said. About 20 people were evacuated from the hotel. The Parkview Motel owner paid for them to stay at another hotel in town, Jenkins said.
The fire caused an estimated $300,000 in fire and smoke damages to about half of the motel's 20 rooms, Jenkins said. People staying at the hotel lost some personal belongings in the blaze.
Electricians are at the hotel to restore power so at least portions of it can remain open, Jenkins said.
Meanwhile, the fire department wants to speak to the man who was staying in room 111.
"We don't know where he is," Jenkins said Tuesday. "He wasn't out there last night and he hasn't shown up this morning."
- Noelle Phillips