Two buildings of Superior Creek Lodge, an extended-stay motel in East Ridge, were condemned by East Ridge officials Wednesday.
Approximately 138 rooms, containing an unknown amount of people, were emptied Wednesday night, Fire Chief Mike Williams said.
The buildings were deemed a "life safety issue," Williams said, particularly the areas going to and from the rooms.
"The main issue is the safety of these people," Williams said.
Code enforcement officials went through the complex and noticed things wrong with the structure of the buildings, Williams said. The decision was quickly made to get those tenants out of their rooms.
Williams said many of the people who were staying in the condemned buildings — A and C — have family members with whom they can stay. The intent was not to put anybody out on the street, Williams said, it was to keep them safe.
The owner of Superior Creek Lodge was making arrangements to try and refund the people who had already paid their rent, Williams said.
Superior Creek Lodge has a checkered history with East Ridge. In 2010, the city of East Ridge attempted to shut down the motel because it became a "public nuisance to the surrounding residents, business owners and taxpayers of East Ridge," the city council said, mentioning that some residents of the complex had committed numerous crimes.
Williams said the people who were displaced caused no trouble during the process. Salvation Army was on scene to help the people who were forced to leave their homes.
Contact staff writer Evan Hoopfer at firstname.lastname@example.org or @EvanHoopfer on Twitter or 423-757-6731.