Community remembers Williamston hotel destroyed in fire

WILLIAMSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — The Magnuson Hotel continued to smolder Thursday after flames ravaged the building late Wednesday night.

Officials said the fire started due to a severe electrical shortage coming out of the main power for the hotel.

The hotel, previously a Holiday Inn, used to serve as a place to unwind.

“It was a place young people could come and dance and just enjoy themselves and again, socialize, relax, if need be,” said Chief James Peele, Williamston Fire Department.

That was before an overnight fire destroyed the small-town treasure.

““It was a great place for the town of Williamston or the citizens of Williamston and again a large icon for a small town,” said Peele.

Peele knows the history behind the hotel.

“It’s seen a lot and if the walls could talk, it could be a really good story to hear,” Peele said.

For Barney Conway, the executive director of the Martin County Tourism Development Authority, the loss of the hotel is personal.

“It was kind of emotional because the motel and restaurant across the street was one that my dad built,” Conway said.

He said it’s hard to lose such an historic staple.

“When I see things like this go down, that’s one more piece of the bricks that help hold our county together,” Conway said.

Despite the damage, Conway is optimistic.

“Hopefully something new and better will come along and fill this vacant space here,” said Conway.

 

WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s