LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The old Ramada Inn Hotel on the Evangeline Thruway had been abandoned for years and had become a home for squatters.

Lafayette Fire Department Spokesperson Alton Trahan says Monday’s fire was likely caused by someone living in a room were firefighters found personal items. Trahan said the fire started in an upstairs bedroom.

“It didn’t take us long to put the fire out, however the concern was the spread,” Trahan said.

He said it’s an old building and the uncertainty about the construction adds to the layer of danger when a fire breaks out.

“Once we were able to put it out in 20 minutes and made sure nobody got injured, no one was inside at the time,” he said.

Homeless people frequently set up camp inside the rooms, Trahan said.

“They find a way to get inside the rooms, some of the rooms still have mattresses on the inside being that they fall asleep smoking or having some candles they are lighting,” he said. “It’s unknown but obviously its known that they are staying inside some of the rooms.”

The cause is under investigation.