Week after first fire, hotel burns again

Robert Roffulo

An abandoned Jackson hotel has caught fire for the third time in just over a week. Smoke was seen pouring from the right side of the hotel on Ellis Avenue, near Highway 80, at about 10 a.m. Monday. Multiple fire trucks and firefighters responded to the scene, and police blocked […]

An abandoned Jackson hotel has caught fire for the third time in just over a week. Smoke was seen pouring from the right side of the hotel on Ellis Avenue, near Highway 80, at about 10 a.m. Monday. Multiple fire trucks and firefighters responded to the scene, and police blocked off the street.Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Armond said they believe the fire was caused by homeless people sheltering from the cold weather. Chief Armond said he does not blame the homeless for the fire.”For them to seek shelter and try to stay warm, you can never fault them for that,” said Chief Armond.However, the multiple fires in abandoned buildings leaves questions about it becoming an issue for the city and the homeless population.”You’re weighing humanity against safety. It’s illegal, it’s trespassing and they are starting fires,” said Chief Armond.Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said the city is working to tackle vacant businesses, but budgeting is a major factor.”One of those properties can account for the entire, or nearly entire demolish budget for the city,” said Lumumba.Lumumba said the city is putting pressure on the owners of the long-standing structures to be responsible in tearing the abandoned buildings down. The first fire broke out Jan. 30 at the abandoned hotel, which was once a Ramada Inn. Officials said the abandoned hotel had no power to it and the homeless community frequently stays at the old inn.The fire sparked again about 24 hours later, on Jan. 31.

An abandoned Jackson hotel has caught fire for the third time in just over a week.

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Smoke was seen pouring from the right side of the hotel on Ellis Avenue, near Highway 80, at about 10 a.m. Monday. Multiple fire trucks and firefighters responded to the scene, and police blocked off the street.

Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Armond said they believe the fire was caused by homeless people sheltering from the cold weather. Chief Armond said he does not blame the homeless for the fire.

“For them to seek shelter and try to stay warm, you can never fault them for that,” said Chief Armond.

However, the multiple fires in abandoned buildings leaves questions about it becoming an issue for the city and the homeless population.

“You’re weighing humanity against safety. It’s illegal, it’s trespassing and they are starting fires,” said Chief Armond.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said the city is working to tackle vacant businesses, but budgeting is a major factor.

“One of those properties can account for the entire, or nearly entire demolish budget for the city,” said Lumumba.

Lumumba said the city is putting pressure on the owners of the long-standing structures to be responsible in tearing the abandoned buildings down.

The first fire broke out Jan. 30 at the abandoned hotel, which was once a Ramada Inn. Officials said the abandoned hotel had no power to it and the homeless community frequently stays at the old inn.

The fire sparked again about 24 hours later, on Jan. 31.

https://www.wapt.com/article/hotel-o-fire-breaks-out-again/39001937

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