Fire swept through a northwest Iowa hotel early this morning, forcing the building to be evacuated.

The fire was reported around 2 A.M. at the Rodeway Inn, just south of the Okoboji lakes, in Milford. Milford Fire Chief Jim Carpenter says the two-story building was fully engulfed when he arrived.

“I never went to the station, I came direct from my house,” Chief Carpenter says. “I beat the first truck and we had fire coming out of the south end of the building and the full width of the building and halfway through when I got here.”

He says three people were found huddled in an upstairs bathroom and all three were safely rescued. They were taken to a hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. The cause of the blaze hasn’t yet been determined.

By Ryan Long, KICD, Spencer