TFD Responds To Third Fire In Abandoned Hotel On Monroe St. [GALLERY]

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Updated By: Emily Johnson

February 7, 2014, 6pm

An abandoned hotel on Monroe Street caught on fire for the third time in three weeks last night.

Now, the Tallahassee Fire Department and the City are working with the owners to prevent this from happening again.

The hotel site is quite a different scene today that it was for the Tallahassee Fire Department last night. TFD has been monitoring this abandoned hotel fire for the past 24 hours.

This is the third time in three weeks that structure, formally known as the America's Best Value Inn.

Firefighters first had to respond to the fire on January 17, 2014 and then again February 5th and 6th.

By Friday, TFD had the fire under control, but still monitored smoke coming from the building.

There are two owners for the property: the building owner and the land owner.

The City says they are working with the owners to get a plan so this doesn't happen again in the future.

"We had communication with them, and they've just received the notices, so we're optimistic that because we know they've been soliciting bids from the demolition contractors that they're going to take care of this," said Michael Perkins, Economic and Community Development Director.

The owners of the building are a company from Fort Walton Beach, FL called Lotus Partnership.

The City says the owners of the building have five days from today to respond to the notice violation that says the building is declared "dangerous".

If the owner doesn't comply within the five days, then the City says they will step in and take the necessary steps to have the building razed.


Updated By: Eyewitness News

February 6, 2014, 11pm

Tallahassee Firefighters have seen an abandoned hotel probably more than they would've liked.

For the third time in three weeks, the old America's Best Value Hotel off North Monroe went up in flames.

The latest incident happened just after 6pm this evening and shut down southbound lanes.

The Tallahassee Fire Department suspect vagrants moving in and out of the building may have started the fire.

Crews are still putting out hot spots, although Monroe is no longer blocked.


Updated By: Eyewitness News

February 6, 2014, 6:30pm

For the third time in three weeks, the Tallahassee Fire Department responded to an abandoned hotel fire on Monroe St.

At this time, all lanes on Monroe are open.


Updated By: Emily Johnson

February 6, 2014, 6pm

There have been two fires in less than a month at an abandoned Tallahassee motel.

Right before midnight on Wednesday, fire engulfed the old American Best Value Inn off North Monroe Street.

The same hotel was on fire back on January 17, 2014.

Investigators believe people moving in and out of the building are causing them.

"The cause is under investigation. State Fire Marshall's Office along with Tallahassee Fire Department, we're looking at that right now. It's very tough to figure out who's moving in and out at certain parts of the day or night," said Lt. Mike Bellamy, Tallahassee Fire Department.

TFD says the case is still under investigation. The City of Tallahassee Code Enforcement says they're looking long-term at what they can do with the building.

They're currently trying to reach out to the owners.


News Release: Tallahassee Fire Department
February 6, 2014, 10:50am

Tallahassee, Fla. -- Yesterday at 11:22 p.m., for the second time in three weeks, the Tallahassee Fire Department responded to an abandoned commercial building fire located at 2800 North Monroe Street. When fire crews arrived on scene at the three-story hotel, they encountered three rooms on the second level completely involved in fire.

Firefighters stretched multiple hose lines and extinguished the fire inside several rooms. The fire spread through the walls to the upper floors, as well as the attic of the complex, requiring firefighters to set up a ladder truck and attack the fire from above. Firefighters knocked the bulk of the fire down by midnight and worked to extinguish hidden fires throughout most of the morning.

Officials say no injuries were reported at the scene of the fire. Damages from the blaze were estimated at $200,000 and no injuries were reported at the scene. The building did not have any utility services on at the time of the blaze.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office and believed to be started by vagrants. The Tallahassee Police Department, Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Leon County EMS also assisted at the scene.

The Tallahassee Fire Department and State Fire Marshal’s office would like you to call 1- 877-NO-ARSON if you have information relating to this or any other suspicious fire. Arson tips can also be reported online at http://www.myfloridacfo.com.


By: James Buechele
February 6, 2014

Tallahassee, FL - Firefighters battle a blaze at an abandoned motel.

It's the same building that caught fire just last month. It happened a little after midnight on Monroe St. and Calloway Rd. Police blocked off portions of the street to get water to the building.

A portion of the roof actually collapsed. Flames could be seen as smoke rose through the air. The state fire marshal is investigating the cause, but in January, fire officials blamed the blaze on homeless people.


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