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Old Baxter Hotel in Hot Springs catches fire


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) - The old Baxter Hotel in Hot Springs caught fire Tuesday morning, though details are not known at this time.

The Baxter, located at 215 Cottage Street, consists of three two-story buildings which had been boarded up. THV's Rolly Hoyt, who is on scene, said nobody was in the building and there are no reports of injuries. While it hasn't been confirmed what time the fire started, THV first received reports of the fire at about 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Hoyt adds just before noon Tuesday that the building is owned by the Hot Springs advertising and promotions commission. They also are in charge of the Hot Springs Convention Center.

Initially, the commission wanted to tear down the building in 2012 but the request was tabled by the city board after protests by preservationists.

Ozark Bathhouse reopening in Hot Springs


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - The National Park Service says the Ozark Bathhouse in Hot Springs is set to reopen this week.

The park service announced Monday that the bathhouse will become the home of the Hot Springs National Park Cultural Center and the new home of the Friends of Hot Springs National Park.

The Ozark was built in 1922 and is among historic structures on Bathhouse Row on Central Avenue that the Park Service is allowing to be repurposed for business use. The park service says the Ozark will now serve as an art gallery featuring the park's "Artist in Residence" art collection. It will also serve as a venue for park events and programs and be available for private events.

The bathhouse is set to reopen Friday.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Cleanup of Majestic Hotel debris continues


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (AP) - Hot Springs' city manager says the cleanup of the torn-down Majestic Hotel complex will happen as quickly as possible.

The historic, vacant hotel was destroyed in a fire last week and the city opted to tear down the building for the safety of the public. City Manager David Watkins says the city will not let the cleanup efforts "drag out" over several months.

The Sentinel-Record reports that the structure was torn down over a 12-hour period over the weekend.

Authorities don't know what caused the blaze that tore through the hotel. The building's owner, Garrison Hassenflu, says the structure was uninsured and he's hopeful the fire's cause will be identified.

Hassenflu says he hopes the land will be used in a development once the building debris is cleaned up.

More headlines:

Majestic Hotel fire investigation continues


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) - Parts of the Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs are gone, but the investigation into Thursday's fire continues.

Both the Hot Springs police and fire departments are conducting interviews after the more than 120-year old property burned late last week.

The property owners have been back in control of the site since Saturday.

Hot Springs Fire Marshall Tom Braughton said even though the building had been boarded up the week before, they had reports that homeless people had been staying in the abandoned building.

STORY:

Crews still fighting fire at Majestic Hotel


Oaklawn cancels after fourth race on Sunday


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (Oaklawn) – Deteriorating weather has forced Oaklawn to cancel after the fourth race Sunday. The jockeys met after the race and the decision was made to err on the side of caution and cancel.

The game room will remain open as well as the track for simulcast wagering.

Live racing at Oaklawn will resume Thursday with a 1:30 p.m. first post.


Demolition begins on Majestic Hotel


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) –Two days after a suspicious fire gutted the Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs, the spa city turned to demolition.

"This is a piece of history that I hate to see it go down," said Hot Springs resident Maxine Stewart. "I'm here to get in some pictures, so I have some memories of it."

The demolition began Friday night and throughout Saturday afternoon, a crane slowly took the century-old building apart.

"Well, it's kind of sad; it's historic, and it's just a lot of memories I'm sure for a lot of people," said onlooker Sherri Speidan.

STORY: Fire breaks out at Majestic Hotel (http://on.kthv.com/1hF6Q5b)

Crews still fighting fire at Majestic Hotel


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) – A day after the historical landmark caught fire, crews remained on scene of the Majestic Hotel in downtown Hot Springs, working to control hot spots that remained from the night before.

Hot Springs Fire Chief Ed Davis said Friday morning that crews were continuing to contain the fire to the oldest part of the hotel complex and keep it from jumping to Lenai Towers to the southwest. To do this, firefighters have been using up to 500,000 gallons of water. Residents are being asked to preserve water to help with the cause.