VERSAILLES, Ohio (WDTN) – Fire marshals and investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire at the Inn at Versailles that required 15 area departments to battle the flames.
The fire broke out around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night, and the smell of the smoke still lingered Wednesday afternoon.
According to Versailles Fire Chief Brian Pearson, the fire started in the kitchen and the age of the building, along with construction and previous renovations, allowed the fire to spread throughout the building.
When the fire began, there were six guests and 13 employees inside the building, located at 21 West Main Street, along with multiple restaurant guests.
On Wednesday, one of the inn guests, Dennis Bumbarger, went back to the Inn to retrieve his belongings and said the Inn’s parent compnay, Midmark Corporation, had accommodated all of them to stay at River Watch, a nearby conference center.
“With the sprinkler systems and all, I have medication in my bag, and a computer bag, so I was kind of worried about all that, but it all seems to be alright,” said Bumbarger.
“Throughout the evening, the fire did escalate, it went into the walls and in the ceilings,” said Ken DeMange, the director of corporate communications at Midmark Corp.
DeMange also said power has since been restored to the rest of the block and no injuries were reported as staff quickly evacuated the building of all inn and restaurant guests.
He said it’s too early to know the extent of the damage or cost of repairs but that they have every intention of opening back up, which is exciting many residents who say it really draws people to the community.
“I have family come in from California and a sister that comes from Vermont, and we like to eat here because it’s a very, very nice restaurant,” said Elaine Owen, a Versailles resident.
DeMange said the historic site also caught fire back in 1901 during a devastating fire that burned much of the downtown area.
Since then, many renovations and remodels had been done, which made fighting the fire harder because of multiple ceilings.
DeMange also said they will continue to work with others who had already booked the inn for receptions or business meetings.