COOK (AP) — Firefighters and a local contractor in Cook tore down part of a motel to stop the spread of a major fire in a town that's seen more than its share lately.

KGM Contractors sent in a crew early Sunday to level part of the Vermilion Motel as its south end was engulfed in flames. A St. Louis County Sheriff sergeant says it likely stopped the fire from spreading to an attached convenience store, gas stations and apartments.

Motel manager Joan Hahn says all 17 rooms were occupied at the time of the fire but that everyone got out safely. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A June fire in the town of just over 500 people near Lake Vermilion destroyed two businesses and eight apartments.