Cause: Still smoldering smoking materials tossed into a plastic bag full of trash.
From Fire Chief Rob Murphy:
At around 8:30 pm yesterday evening, Newport Fire Department responded to a report of a dumpster fire at the Econo-Lodge located on the 600 block of SW Coast Highway.
While enroute, 9-1-1 dispatch updated us that the fire had spread to the building. Our first arriving fire engine reported a fire next to a dumpster at the SE corner of the building that was quickly spreading west and threatening the motel and the adjacent building to the south. Quick action by fire crews quickly knocked the fire down.
The fire did minor damage to the siding of the motel, the separate dumpster enclosure, and the siding of an adjacent building. Crews inspected adjacent rooms to ensure the fire had not spread. Damage was estimated to be around $20,000.
NFD personnel spent the next hour making sure the fire was dead-out. After that, firefighters began tracking down the specific location and cause of the fire. It was determined that someone had put still smoldering smoking materials into a plastic bag full of trash and tossed it into the dumpster.