Fire that damaged vacant hotel in Elkhart was set

    The Elkhart Fire Department determined a fire started at the Belvedere Hotel in the north side of Elkhart was set.
    Posted on Dec. 23, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Dec. 23, 2013 at 4:56 p.m.

    ELKHART — Investigators determined a fire that damaged parts of a vacant hotel building in the north side of Elkhart was set.

    The Elkhart Fire Department responded to a structure fire at the old Belvedere Inn, 3011 Belvedere Road, west off of Cassopolis Street, at about 8 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 22.

    Chief Fire Investigator Tony Balzano said the fire was started in seven different locations of the building.

    Fire crews arrived to find heavy smoke and fire, according to a release from the fire department.

    Every on-duty unit was called to the scene of the Elkhart Fire Department, and off-duty personnel were called to staff the fire stations in the meantime.

    The fire was under control by 10:44 a.m., according to the release.

    Balzano found evidence of set fires in the back side of the building, as well as in the front office area. A room was fully involved, and a room, a hallway and an office area were other points of ignition, Balzano said.

    The fire reached part of the attic in the west wing of the building.

    Although the fire was started in several parts of the building, Balzano said only one room was a total loss and the rest of the building is rebuildable.

    Balzano said investigators from the fire and police departments worked on the scene for about eight hours after the blaze was out, but the investigation continues.

    The building has been vacant for some time. It was previously a Ramada Inn and housed a Bennigan’s restaurant.

    The restaurant closed in 2009. After that, the hotel was renamed the Belvedere Inn.

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