Fire destroys Hotel Talisi

(video source WSFA)
(video source WSFA)

TALLASSEE, Ala. (AP) - Towering flames destroyed the Hotel Talisi, an east Alabama landmark known as much for its restaurant as its guest rooms, early Monday just weeks after it reopened following a sale and renovation.

No injuries were reported, but the old brick hotel decorated with antiques was reportedly a total loss. Police said the blaze apparently began in an adjoining shop shortly after 3 a.m. CDT and spread.

"It's gone," said Dawn Bodenburg, part of a group of investors who bought the hotel in October and reopened it for business. "I'm waiting to hear from the fire marshal's office now."

There was no immediate word on the cause of the fire.

Dating to around 1924, the hotel was a reminder of a time before cookie-cutter motels with continental breakfasts. Its dining room featured a huge buffet with Southern cooking that drew guests from miles around and was popular with Auburn football fans in the fall.

George McCain said losing the hotel was a blow to the entire community.

"I would like to throw my arms around the residents of Tallassee and say I'm sorry," said McCain, mayor of the town of about 5,000 about 30 miles east of Montgomery.