- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 1, 2016

OACOMA, S.D. (AP) - Investigators have concluded that a piece of mechanical equipment likely caused a Memorial Day fire that heavily damaged the Oasis Inn in Oacoma.

The blaze about 2 a.m. Monday destroyed the main section of the hotel that’s near Al’s Oasis, a popular rest stop for travelers on Interstate 90. All of the hotel’s guests were evacuated, and no injuries were reported.

Owners earlier had speculated that a lightning strike was to blame.

South Dakota Department of Public Safety spokesman Tony Mangan tells The Associated Press that State Fire Marshal Paul Merriman concluded the blaze was likely sparked by a failure in the motor of an exhaust fan in the building.

The Daily Republic newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/25y3Ml5 ) that a damage estimate is not yet available.

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Information from: The Daily Republic, http://www.mitchellrepublic.com

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