MATTESON, Ill. — Village officials almost shut down a Matteson hotel after firefighters discovered numerous code violations.
According to the Matteson Fire Department, the Travelodge by Wyndham was deemed unsafe for occupancy. As a result, guests initially thought they had to leave, but the suburban hotel passed all fire inspections in the last few hours, according to a village spokesperson.
WGN News has learned that the Matteson Fire Chief personally inspected the hotel Wednesday afternoon and found management fixed all safety violations.
“Oh my gosh, I feel so relieved. I am so happy. I have tears of joy,” said hotel manager Latricia Washington, who says many of her guests are long-term occupants.
The fire department put the hotel on an emergency 24-hour notice after saying management went 10 months without fixing safety violations. The fire department says more than 20 rooms didn’t have working smoke detectors. If the hotel didn’t make the corrections by 5 p.m. Wednesday, officials would have forced everyone to leave.
In the interim, the police department worked with nearby hotels to find placement for some residents. Some families didn’t want to go, however.
“If I can’t pay every single day, they will allow me to extend until I’m able to pay it and that’s something I’ve never had in other hotels,” said hotel guest Stephanie McWilliams.
For now, they won’t have to worry.
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“I told them that we got this. We’re going to make it through this. Trust the process,” Washington said. “I told them they would not have to go outside. Their kids were not going to be out in the cold. Everything was going to be fine.”
Washington blames the pandemic for the delays. However, the village says building code violations still have to be addressed here, likely next week.