Fire and Rescue crews evacuated 20 people from the Squid’s Ink Motel in Belmont after a blaze broke out in the early morning.
Eight trucks were sent to the incident on Monday at 1.18am. The flames could be seen from across the lake and there were concerns for the safety of motel guests.
“On arrival the top floor of the hotel was well alight,” Belmont station officer Glen Boyko said.
“Being a hotel we had immediate concerns for the people staying there.
“We evacuated 20 people.”
It took firies just 20 minutes to gain control of the blaze, which had started in the function room. It was contained quickly and did not spread to the motel rooms, but the estimated damage bill sits at $2 million.
“My crew did such a good job,” Mr Boyko said.
The cause of the fire is under police and Fire and Rescue investigation.
Police established a crime scene at the location but investigators were unable to enter the premises due to safety concerns.
It is anticipated that investigators will attempt to examine the premises later this morning if it is deemed safe to do so.
Lake Macquarie Local Area Command officers have appealed for anyone with information or images of the fire to come forward.
Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/
Asbestos was also found in the property and fire crews completed decontamination of the site as soon as the fire was extinguished.