Flames engulfed a building on the site of a planned hotel on Camino del Rio around midnight Sunday, shooting flames into the night sky as smoke billowed through downtown Durango.
About 30 percent of the building at 1111 Camino del Rio was ablaze when firefighters arrived moments after getting the call, Fire Marshal Karola Hanks said. By 1 a.m. Monday, firefighters were concentrating on the south end of the building in an effort to keep the fire from spreading.
“It’s going to be pretty hot for awhile,” Hanks said. “We won’t get any investigation done until it cools down.”
The Durango Fire Protection District had multiple hoses on the fire, and multiple ladder trucks at the scene.
Smoke was infiltrating buildings downtown, and Hanks said any structure with windows open or air intakes would likely have smoke inside.
Camino del Rio was closed from Ninth Street to 12th Street, and side streets from Main Avenue leading to it also were shut down.
The building was recently vacated by a about a dozen businesses, and was to be torn down to make way for an 86-room hotel. Hanks said firefighters searched the building and found no one inside.
The sale of the building, just south of Natural Grocers, closed March 31, former owner John Bregar said in April. The hotel plans were approved the following week by the city Planning Commission.
Hanks said all of the businesses had moved out by May 17, and demolition of the building was expected to begin around June 1.
“We’re all pretty sure everybody had moved out,” she said.
Businesses that had to move included the Rock Lounge, Sacred Space, Happy Nails, Durango Rafting, Cloud 9 Head Shop and Animas Herbal Wellness Center.
Missouri-based Central Design Group proposed the hotel, but it has not announced what brand of hotel will move into the building. During a meeting, a company representative said it would be one of the top brands in the country.
Check back at durangoherald.com for updates.