Occidental building fire damage estimated at $1 million

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita Fire Department estimates a fire that damaged the old Occidental Hotel caused $1 million in damage. It happened around 6 p.m. Wednesday near 2nd and Main Street.

Smoke and flames could be seen coming from the third floor. The first floor is now being used as office space while the other two floors are being renovated.

Wichita Fire Chief Tammy Snow said crews had to use extra caution while putting the fire out.

“Primarily, because it is large and second because it is under renovation. We do not know where the holes are. When things are under renovation, they tear the ceiling down, and they tear the floors out so we have to be very careful,” Snow said.

Investigators are looking into the cause of the fire. The damage was mostly caused to the structure of the roof.

“Once again, because they’re going to do significant rework on the roof structure because a lot of that original dimension lumber has to be damaged and has to be replaced or supported and that’s going to be a very extensive project. So, about a million dollars to structure and $50,000 to contents,” said Fire Marshal Stu Bevis, Wichita Fire Department.

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