Grandview fire caused by human error

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

SHERIDAN - Human error, not a mechanical one, was responsible for the blaze that destroyed much of the Grandview Inn and Suites.

Investigators with the Ohio State Fire Marshal's Office concluded Friday their investigation of the Oct. 4 fire that kept firefighters busy for hours and filled the area with smoke.

Although officials ruled out arson, the fire marshal's office reported that the fire was likely started by a person, not an electrical problem.

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&#8221There's been so much damage, that the exact cause was not determined,“ said Denise Lee, a spokesperson for the state fire marshal.

Investigators were unable to pinpoint the exact nature of the fire that destroyed the motel's kitchen and dining area. However, officials said they believe the area of origin was a break room off of the Grandview's kitchen.

The fire began early Tuesday morning and took crews from 17 fire departments in Ohio and Kentucky to get it under control. Even then, firefighters were called back to the scene Wednesday to put out hot spots.

&#8221It was pretty intense,“ Chesapeake Fire Department Assistant Chief Ed Webb said Tuesday. &#8221It was difficult to get to, because it was going up and down hallways, you normally have more room in a structure fire.“

The kitchen, dining room and office areas of the hotel were destroyed. The rooms were not damaged and the approximately 50 guests were evacuated without injuries.

Though an exact count has not been released, as many as 16 firefighters from several departments were treated at area hospitals for suspected chemical burns or minor injuries

For many in the community, the hotel was a landmark they had known for many years.

&#8221Everybody just meets there all the time. Š I have been here since 1959 and at that time it was quite a place. It was a Holiday Inn then,“ South Point Mayor Bill Gaskin said.

&#8221They have always had good service and really good people. I was out of town a few days this week, but I have been thinking about it all the time.“

Hotel owner Victor Hardan reportedly plans to rebuild the southern Ohio landmark. If all goes well, the rooms may be reopened in a few weeks and a rebuilt kitchen area could welcome guests next year.