The early investigation into a fire at a Council Bluffs hotel Sunday reveals the fire alarm system wasn't working properly.
Guests had to run door to door to warn others about the danger inside the Value Place Inn on Sunday.
The alarms never sounded and when people pulled the alarms in the hallway, nothing happened.
Lightning caused the fire, which stayed in the attic, and it's possible the surge of electricity caused the fire alarms to malfunction CB Fire Marshal Larry Wohlers said Monday.
But until the department can analyze the data downloaded from the alarm panel, they won't know for sure why the system didn't work as designed.
The building passed its most recent annual inspection in January, but 30 days ago a fire alarm system vendor was called to the property to replace a part in the panel. Wohlers says the department is interviewing those technicians as well. He declined to name the contractor.