When the Inn at Versailles will reopen after fire is not certain, fire chief says

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It's too soon to talk about a preliminary cause or origin of the fire, which prompted a 4-alarm callout because more manpower was needed, Chief Pearson said. 

The extra manpower -- as many as 90 firefighters all told, he said -- was needed to help get at voids behind walls of the old building and check common attic and basement spaces the inn and restaurant shares with other businesses and apartments in the Inn at Versailles complex on West Main Street. 

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Pearson said crews caused some cosmetic interior and exterior damage, some ceilings had to be pulled to locate flames and smoke caused damage as well. Four apartments were evacuated because they share attic space and the second floor with the Versailles Inn and restaurant. 

Medical personnel did check some firefighters out of precaution, but no one was injured or had to be taken to a hospital. 

>> PHOTOS: Historic Inn at Versailles through the years

Pearson said he was about two blocks away when he noticed smoke showing from the rear of the inn, where the restaurant is located. He said he called for a second alarm right away.

The nature of the building -- its open spaces behind walls where fire could spread undetected -- prompted him to call for more manpower, which made it a 3-alarm fire. 

Pearson said fears that fire could spread to the roof prompted him to enhance the incident to a 4th alarm.

Engine and ladder crews from Osgood, Russia, Ansonia, Gettysburg, Greenville City, Burkettsville (Darke and Mercer counties), Covington, Bradford, Liberty Twp., New Madison, Arcanum, Rossburg, and Minster from Shelby County answered the call. 

Versailles crews remained on scene into Wednesday morning to monitor the building for rekindles, he said.

The cause of the fire at the historic Inn at Versailles is under investigation, a spokesman for inn and hotel's owner said. 

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Inn staff detected the fire and evacuated the inn as well as the restaurant, said the spokesman, Ken DeMange, director of corporate communication for the Midmark Corp. 

"We are very pleased with the staff at the Inn, on how they handled the situation calmly and safely and was concerned about our guests," DeMange said. "Everyone is safe. That's all that matters." 

Midmark has owned the inn and hotel for more than 25 years, DeMange said.

Ironically, fire destroyed the hotel in 1901, according to a history of the business. After the fire, several businesses built and occupied buildings that would eventually become the Inn in 1993. 

The Snyder Hotel in 1904 occupied an area on the second floor. When the Inn consolidated the buildings, the entire second floor became the 20 suites and rooms of the hotel.

Fire crews drilled holes in the roof at the historic Versailles Inn to get at stubborn flames Tuesday night. (Jim Noelker/Staff)

Versailles crews remained on scene into Wednesday morning to monitor the building for rekindles, he said.

The cause of the fire at the historic Inn at Versailles is under investigation, a spokesman for inn and hotel's owner said. 

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