Valley West Inn survivor jumped out of window to escape hotel fire


WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Residents of the Valley West Inn extended stay hotel in West Des Moines are recovering after a fire broke out Monday night.

Fire officials said two people who were inside the building were sent to local hospitals for treatment and at least one of those people was treated and released. Half a dozen residents were treated on the scene by medics.

Michael Carrales is one of the survivors of the fire. He is from Texas and is staying at the hotel for work. Carrales says he and his brother-in-law jumped from their first-floor window to escape the fire.

“We noticed that our only way out would be the window. We tried sliding the window and it wouldn’t slide for some reason,” said Carrales. “So I put on a shoe and I kicked it out and my brother-in-law went out first, jumped through the window, and I went second through the window, hurting myself a little bit.”

Carrales said he lost a lot of blood and went to a local hospital to get stitches.

On Tuesday, fire officials walked through the hotel to try and determine the cause of the fire. Authorities said some residents could not hear the fire alarms because of the style of the building.

“This building was built back in the late 60s, early 70s. Fire codes and building codes were much different back then,” said Mike Whitsell, the fire marshal for West Des Moines. “We’ve heard from some residents that they couldn’t hear the alarms in the room. Unfortunately, that was the style of alarm that was put in that building. But it still worked as far as that fire alarm. It automatically dialed out.”

Whitsell also says the A-side of the building sustained the most damages.

Moreover, fortunately, nobody was seriously injured, according to Whitsell. The Red Cross is currently assisting 65 families impacted by the fire.

A GoFundMe page is set up for Carrales, who lost everything in the fire.

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