FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Wyndham Garden Hotel recently completed nearly $1.5 million in renovations and was nearing the end until a fire ripped through the hotel Monday night.
Its general manager said the owners and employees were planning their grand opening this January, and although it’s too early to tell how bad the fire has set their plans back, they know they will have to start over in many areas.
About 40 firefighters responded to the hotel, located in the 1600 block of Washington Center Road around 9 p.m. Monday. Flames were coming from the roof and one side of the building. It took an hour to get the fire under control.
22 of the hotel’s rooms were occupied. Those people went to a sister hotel.
The fire and health departments were still on scene Tuesday. Customers’ belongings were taken to be cleaned and returned.
According to Adam O’Connor, spokesperson for the Fort Wayne Fire Department, most of the damage is to the exterior. The interior has smoke and water damage.
“Crazy, just heart-wrenching, heartbreaking. We’ve invested so much in this property, heart, soul, money. It’s devastating for us, it’s devastating for my owners. So, it’s been rough, my employees and so, we have a long road ahead now again,” Nicki Browne, General Manager of the Wyndham Garden Hotel said.
The hotel is closed pending a structure engineering report, said Browne. The hotel is hopeful they’ll have that within the next couple of days. Browne said they hope to re-open portions of the hotel. According to the fire department, the building department has the final approval.
The fire department is still not sure what caused the fire.