Guests at the American Inn on Noland Road near Interstate 70 spent a portion of their stay outdoors Monday night.

Approximately 35 guests were evacuated from 22 rooms after lightning struck an attic area of the hotel, spokesperson Pam Hayward said Tuesday.

Damage to the hotel was estimated at $350,000, and the 22 rooms will be closed for 10 to 12 weeks.

"Two or three people saw the lightning hit, and they reported it to the front desk," Hayward said. The lightning reportedly occurred at 4:30 a.m. during a major thunderstorm that swept through the area.

Of the 123 rooms at the hotel, 112 were occupied, but only 22 rooms suffered smoke damage. Hayward said the fire was minor and the Independence Fire Department extinguished it quickly.

"They worked really quickly," she said. "We're still in awe over how fast they worked and responded."

Some of the 35 people who were evacuated were relocated among four American Inn hotels in the Kansas City area; the remaining guests were transfered to other portions of the hotel.