MENTONE, Ala. (WHNT) – The Mentone Springs Hotel was destroyed by fire Saturday night.
The call came in around 9:00 p.m. Saturday. The flames spread to the big antique mall next door, The White Elephant. Firefighters say it is a complete loss, too.
Officials at the scene say no one was injured. They have not determined the cause of the fire yet.
They say there were commercial-grade propane tanks outside of the hotel. Officials say none exploded, thanks to firefighters.
A spokesperson for the Mentone Fire Department says a guest tried to put out the flames with fire extinguisher but it was too late. The spokesman said the main focus for firefighters was keeping the blaze contained to the hotel so that it wouldn’t spread to rest of the town.
The Mentone Springs Hotel was built in 1884. It was the last wooden Victorian hotel in Alabama. We’re told the hotel was roughly 28,000 square feet.
Laura Hunt from Boaz and her family were visiting Mentone for the first time on Saturday. They were having dinner at the Moonlight Bistro in Mentone after she, her husband and four children had a day of hiking. She tells WHNT News 19 that as they were finishing up their meal, their server came to them and told them that their meal would be complimentary because the hotel next door was on fire and that the family needed to evacuate. Hunt described it as a “pretty frightening experience.” She said they saw “black smoke billowing out” of the hotel.
“You could not help feel a sense of hopelessness and sorry for what was happening to this historic site and to the community,” Hunt said. “Our deepest sympathies to Mentone.”