The Vacation Lodge Motel, near Disney’s Animal Kingdom, on the 192 caught fire around 10:45pm last night and is still burning strong right now. All three wings of the sprawling motel have burned to the ground, displacing 150 guests. Although it was an operating motel, many guests actually lived at the lodge. So far 8 injuries have been reported as serious to require a trip to the hospital and the Red Cross is assisting.
The fire was so big it could be seen from I-4 freeway and maybe be causing delays there too. The pictures on CFNews13 show how big the fire was. The long fight to put out the fire was also an issue. Many backup firefighting units were called in to relieve the first units on scene.
The 192 highway is currently closed in the area. You can take Osceola Parkway as an alternative. Traveling east on 192, turn left at Sherberth then right on Osceola Parkway. (This is also a pretty good way to get to DAK from that part of Kissimmee.)
Here at The Disney Blog we hope the injuries aren’t too serious. These motels that are really homes to hundreds of families who can’t afford even a small apartment, is one of the darker sides of the Orlando economy. There just aren’t enough high paying jobs in Central Florida. That’s not Disney’s fault, but a city needs more than just tourism to thrive.
Update: A few updates and grammar fixes. Apparently writing a story in five minutes before I leave for work does not produce the clearest writing in the world. Sorry about that.