BRATTLEBORO -- Firefighters are not sure what caused an alarm that spurred the evacuation of a Putney Road hotel for about an hour Tuesday morning.

More than 20 people filed back into the Quality Inn just before noon after fire officials investigated a report of an explosion but could find no evidence of such an incident.

"We did check air quality in and around this building to be sure it was safe," said Brattleboro Fire Department Lt. David Emery. "At this point, we feel very certain the building is safe, and the cause is kind of unknown."

An alarm sounded at the hotel, situated across Putney Road from C&S Wholesale Grocers, at 10:59 a.m.

"We received a phone call right after that reporting some sort of explosion in the area, and that's about as much information as we had," Emery said.

He added that someone inside the hotel claimed to have "felt an explosion" within the building.

Most of the building was evacuated when firefighters arrived. The remainder of the hotel was evacuated as a precaution, Emery said, though there was no evidence of any fire or smoke.

Brattleboro police also responded, and more than 20 people waited in the parking lot as firefighters investigated. Emergency vehicles staged in the hotel parking lot and on Putney Road.

"We checked the interior of the building, the exterior of the building," Emery said. "We checked Putney Road, Old Ferry Road, the interstate - no obvious cause."

Emery added that, "the closest we can come to a possible cause is, there is a blown-out truck tire on the interstate right behind the building.


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That's definitely a possibility."

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275. Follow him on Twitter @MikeReformer.