Downtown Chillicothe was full of activity Saturday evening as the old Leeper Hotel burned.  Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross talk with Fire Chief Darrell Wright:

Darrell Wright

“While crews were there tearing it down, fire ignited in the rubble and caused a good size fire in our downtown area,”said Wright,”We’ve had the fire marshal on the site, along with our local police department, and they have done an investigation.  They do feel that it was accidental, but an exact cause has not been determined.”

Wright said that damage to surrounding buildings was thought to be minimal.  “I’m sure some of the adjoining businesses had smoke damage,”said Wright,” We checked some and didn’t see any fire or water damage in them.  That doesn’t mean to say that, with that much water, it didn’t run in them, but we did not see evidence of that on Saturday evening.”

According to Wright, fire crews from Carrollton and Trenton joined the Chillicothe department in using two aerial trucks, two pumpers, and nearly one million gallons of water to put out the fire. Highway 65 was closed for several hours during that process.  No injuries were reported.