Firefighters battle historic Holly Hotel blaze

A six-alarm fire caused extensive damage to the Holly Hotel on Tuesday, stunning the small town with damage to the historic landmark.

Holly, Police Chief Jerry Narsh said it was “at least” a six-alarm fire. Flames were already visible when he first learned of the fire at 4:03 p.m.

The fire started at the nearby Battle Alley Arcade Antiques Mall and spread from there, Narsh said.

The hotel’s age and high winds made the fire more difficult to fight, he said.

At the scene, residents of Holly braved thick smoke and warning tape to gather, some hugging and crying at the sight. Some brought lawn chairs.

The nearby Battle Alley Arcade collapsed, township supervisor George Kullis said. The hotel had roof damage, water damage and was filled with smoke. The facade of the historic building appeared less damaged than the rear.

“These are people’s hearts, these are people’s dreams, this is their lives,” Narsh said. “Holly will rebuild herself and be back as beautiful as ever.”

Fire departments from across the county continued to come, including the townships of Troy, Oxford, and Brandon and Groveland.

“It’s such a shame, but it could have been so much worse,” said Jim Perkins, Holly’s board member.

Firefighters battle a fire at the historic Holly Hotel on June 21, 2022

Village manager Jerry Walker said police arrived on the scene immediately and were able to evacuate everyone within “a matter of minutes”.

No civilian injuries were reported, but some firefighters were being treated for minor injuries and heat exhaustion.

“We are very grateful that no lives were lost,” Walker said.

He said the damage would not be assessed for 72 hours.

Some nearby stores were damaged or evacuated and the area was blocked off. Firefighters have asked everyone to avoid the area.

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The historic location is perhaps best known as where Carrie Nation smashed liquor bottles during Prohibition. The hotel has been around since the late 1800s, according to its website, and suffered from two more devastating fires in 1913 and 1978.

It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has a restaurant and hosts weddings and events.

Some of the strange occurrences at the Holly Hotel include the sound of children's footsteps and glasses falling off the shelves.

Presidents and governors dined at the established venue, the website says.

This is a developing story.

Contact Emma Stein: [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @_emmastein.

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