Fire at Landmark Alabama Hotel Started to Cover Burglary: Fire Marshal

December 3, 2009

Investigators believe a fire that destroyed a landmark hotel in east Alabama was started to hide a burglary in a nearby business.

A spokesman with the state fire marshal’s office, Ragan Ingram, said a 17-year-old is charged with arson, burglary and other crimes in the blaze that gutted the Hotel Talisi. The business was a longtime anchor in the town of Tallassee.

Ingram said an investigation showed the fire began early Monday in a store that had been burglarized. The flames jumped across a narrow alley and caught the upper floors of the hotel on fire.

The Hotel Talisi, which opened in 1928, was well known for its restaurant. It had closed in 2008 and had just reopened under new ownership.

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