Dayton fire claims historic buildings

Tom Snodgrass looks at the sign on the old Fox Hotel in Dayton in 2007.

Tom Snodgrass looks at the sign on the old Fox Hotel in Dayton in 2007. Chad Lundquist

Three historic buildings burned down in Old Town Dayton, including the Fox Hotel, in an Oct. 13 blaze, according to Rich Harvey, fire chief of Central Lyon County Fire.

“It was on Main Street in what’s called Old Town Dayton,” said Harvey by phone on Wednesday. “Three buildings were involved, Fox and two buildings east.”

Harvey said he didn’t believe the buildings were salvageable.

“They look relatively undamaged in photos afterward, but these are 100-year-old-plus buildings that took a fair amount of heat before the fire was knocked down,” he said. “They are unsafe to occupy.”

Harvey said they don’t know the cause of the fire, but it’s still under investigation.

“We’re working through causes, eliminating some other causes,” he said. “There is a solid point of origin under investigation. We’re working on that now.”

Harvey said the buildings were not traditionally occupied before the blaze, and that people in the area were all accounted for.

“These historic buildings have sidewalls that are all connected,” he said, emphasizing the challenge of preserving historic districts.

The initial fire call came in at 10:49 p.m. Oct. 13. Harvey said the fire took about an hour to knock down.

“We really appreciate support from Carson City. They sent a ladder truck,” he said. “We also got some good assistance from the Central Lyon volunteer guys.”

County officials are currently clearing damage to avoid hazards and cordoning off the area.


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