Downtown York's Rodeway Inn sat in silence Sunday, its entrance cordoned off by yellow caution tape, debris strewn across its parking lot, following a fire intentionally set there the day before.


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Nick Patel, the general manager, said the owners of the inn have told him to monitor to property to keep people out.

"Because this is a crime scene, we are waiting for the fire department and police department to tell us the next step," Patel said.

Police charged 35-year-old Wayne Allen Taylor of no fixed address with arson and aggravated assault in the fire. About 58 people were displaced by the blaze.

York City Fire/Rescue Services has received reports about the lack of an alarm sounding during the fire and is investigating, Acting Chief David Michaels said. The fire department did not receive the call through an alarm service but through 911 calls.

Patel said the fire alarm did go off.

Leesburg Lodging owns the inn, but no one with the company could be reached for comment Sunday.

Patel said the fire department told him to tape off the parking lot.

"For now, we are not letting people in because the hotel has no electricity, no gas and no water," Michaels said. "The next move is on (the owners) to apply for the proper permits to get the work done."

A restoration crew came by the inn Sunday to look at the property, but no decisions have been made for repairs, Patel said.

The Rodeway Inn in York wass quiet and cordoned off Sundaymorning following a fire there Saturday.
The Rodeway Inn in York wass quiet and cordoned off Sundaymorning following a fire there Saturday. (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - TED CZECH)
The electricity has been turned back on for employee use.

Most of the inn's residents were allowed back in to retrieve their belongings late Saturday. But those who were staying on the third floor near the room where the fire started have not been allowed in, Patel said.

"The fire department will decide when those people will be let in," he said.

Because of the fire, many of the inn's residents found themselves waking up this morning at the Days Inn in Manchester Township.

Baltimore resident Anthony Luby, 22, said he and his girlfriend, Tranell Brigman, of Wrightsville, checked in at the Rodeway Inn Friday for the weekend.

Brigman stepped outside their room for a cigarette and noticed smoke billowing out of a room there. The two grabbed what belongings they could and evacuated, he said.

"I had a couple of clothes items that got damaged - my shoes, my jacket got damaged," Luby said. "She (someone from the Red Cross) gave me some laundry detergent to get the smoke smell out."

Luby and Brigman have homes to return to, but for others, the Rodeway Inn was their home. Luby said he met several people who told him they don't have a place to stay.

Kathy Smyser, American Red Cross regional communications manager, said Sunday that once agency volunteers arrived at the fire scene, they found out the Rodeway and Days Inn had an agreement that if a disaster should strike at either motel, the residents there would be transferred to the other one.

Still, the Red Cross provided food and drink to firefighters at the scene, and also handed out toiletries to the adults and teddy bears to the children who were displaced, and also packages of OdoBan, a detergent that eliminates the odor of smoke from clothing.

The nearby Elks club provided a temporary shelter for the residents and Rabbittransit took them to the Days Inn, she said.

Smyser said the Red Cross will be meeting with the fire victims this week on a case-by-case basis to counsel them on what they should do next for their individual situations and refer them to other resources in the county.

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Man charged with arson, risking lives in connection to Rodeway Inn blaze that displaced 58.