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Historic Hotel Lost

The Gordon Hotel was once part of a bustling oil and gas producing region in Ritchie County. It's been a residence for about half a century, most recently for the Farr family.

Early Friday morning, the occupants were awakened by the sound of shattering glass. They thought it was a break-in, but it was far worse.

"I heard a commotion out here; I heard glass breaking and people screaming," said neighbor Tina Gant. "I jumped out of bed, and I looked out my window, and I could see the house was on fire."

The heat from the burning home was so intense that the siding on the Gant home across the street literally melted.

"It was so hot it busted my windows and melted my blinds," Gant said. "We got in the back of the house because we were afraid it would start exploding."

The Farris lost nearly all of their possessions, but one thing was salvaged, this go-cart, which was one of two parked right outside the home. Neighbor Thomas Starcher often rode with Brad Farr. While Starcher's cart was lost, he managed to save Brad's.

"My dirt bike (was lost in the fire) too," said Starcher, age 15. "Oh well, I can always get another one of those."

Everyone escaped the burning home without serious injury. A 70-year-old resident had to be treated for apparent chest pains, but we're happy to report she was released from a local hospital.

Chief Ralph Layfield of the Cairo volunteer fire department tells us the cause of Friday's fire in the three-story home is still under investigation, but he adds that it appears to have started accidentally.


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