A fire shut down a Banks Crossing motel on Saturday, Oct. 5, leading to the structure being condemned until it can be brought up to code.

The fire at the Scottish Inn reportedly started by a cigarette outside the motel.

Banks County Fire/EMS responded to a commercial structure fire at 30934 Highway 441, Commerce, at the Scottish Inn Motel. Upon arrival, firefighters found the two-story motel with fire showing through the roof.

The structure was evacuated and searched for occupants which were removed by fire personnel. The fire was quickly extinguished with an interior attack and contained to the front half of the building.

Sixteen families were displaced and removed from the building. One minor injury was reported to an occupant, who was treated and released by EMS personnel on the scene. Automatic aid was requested from Commerce Fire Department along with assistance from the Lee Arrendale Correctional Institute Fire Department. The cause of the fire has been listed as a discarded cigarette near the building.

The remaining structure has been secured and listed as condemned until the building can be repaired and brought up to code.

The American Red Cross was at the scene to assist the residents who are in need.

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