The fire ended up damaging other businesses in the same structure as the hotel, including Big Willie’s Smokehouse, which suffered smoke damage and smoke from the fire pushed into the business through the floorboards.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Third suspicious fire set near Urbana's Douglas Inn
At the same time as investigators say people are intentionally setting fires in the building, community partners are working on a redevelopment plan for the Douglas Hotel that would turn it into affordable senior housing.
The project, dubbed “Legacy Place,” would convert the building, along with the former North and South Elementary Schools in Urbana, into 51 apartments, with a retail space on the first floor of the hotel.
The hotel has been vacant for 16 years, and $9 million in tax credits have already been awarded to the Legacy Place project.
Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call the Urbana Police Division Crime Tip Hotline at 937-652-HELP (4357), or Capt. Jason Croker of the Urbana Fire Division at 937-652-4371. All tipsters can remain anonymous.