Montrose hotel fire ruled suspicious

Photo by William Woody—John Holland, owner of Affordable Inns, surveys the damage Tuesday from a fire that caused an estimated $200,000 in damage. The fire Saturday started in an apartment above the lobby and damaged six rooms, Holland said. The hotel provides rooms to low-income and homeless residents at reduced rates, he said.

MONTROSE — Investigators are saying the cause of a fire at a Montrose hotel Saturday is suspicious.

The fire caused an estimated $200,000 in damage to an unoccupied apartment above the lobby of Affordable Inns on South Townsend Avenue.

“At this point in time, it’s looking suspicious and is basically suspicious because we don’t have a point of origin or know how it started. There are some other suspicious things that have been occurring that we are investigating,” Montrose Police Chief Tom Chinn said.

Hotel owners John and Jody Holland said they are trying to take a positive attitude in the fire’s aftermath.

“Our mentality is rebuild. We are not victims anymore,” John Holland said, adding repair will begin soon.

The hotel provides rooms to low-income and homeless residents at reduced rates. Holland said hotel guests living near the damaged unit have been moved to other vacant rooms.

He said six rooms were affected, and he credits firefighters for saving the entire structure.

Surveillance footage showing the fire’s intensity has been handed over to investigators, John Holland said.

“There is a lot more to this story. We’re hoping to know more about the cause and who may have done this by Friday,” he said.

Montrose Fire Department Deputy Chief Dale Erickson said the fire originated in or near a closet of the apartment. He said the only electrical fixture in the area was ruled out as a source.

He said the cause officially is listed as “undetermined” and handed the case to police detectives for further review.

John Holland said community response to the incident has been profound. He said donations can be made by contacting Montrose Jail Ministries at 970-240-4046.


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