A 3-story hotel, built in the 1880s along Main Street in Irwin, Pennsylvania, was destroyed by fire yesterday. Only minor injuries are reported, but 16 men living there lost everything. The hotel had 35 rooms, a bar, and dining room but all that remains is a brick shell, the roof and third floor having collapsed. The town’s main street, in an uncommon arrangement, runs perpendicular to the Lincoln Highway, which passes a couple blocks south of the hotel.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports the fire was started by a grease fire from a resident cooking breakfast; throwing water on it spread the flames. (Trib photo above; the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also reported on it.) A police officer was able to go door-to-door to evacuate, and firefighters arrived minutes later, but the fire chief said it was hopeless despite more than 20 fire companies responding. The historic Lamp Theater next door appears to be safe. This follows 5 weeks after a fire destroyed a historic inn in Fort Loudon, Pennsylvania.