HOT SPRINGS, AR - New information is coming in from the scene of the Majestic Hotel fire in downtown Hot Springs.
The following information comes from our content partner Hot Springs Daily (HSD):
Fire suppression efforts are requiring up to 500,000 gallons per hour. All Hot Springs residents can play a role in fighting the Majestic fire by voluntarily conserving water until further notice. Click here for water conservation tips.
The 100 and 200 blocks of Park Ave. remain closed as firefighters continue to spray water on the blaze.
The Hot Springs Police Department has established checkpoints at the intersection of Park Ave./Gulpha Gorge Rd. and at the intersection of Central Ave./Spring St. Those having essential business downtown are being allowed entry from these checkpoints. Motorists can travel from Whittington Ave. south onto Central Ave. to access the downtown area.
The National Park Service road to the Mountain Tower, accessed from Fountain St., is closed today.
When crews from the Hot Springs Fire Dept. (HSFD) got to the scene Thursday night, they found the top floor in flames and began setting up a defensive perimeter, including exposure protection for nearby structures.
HSD reports that responding to the Majestic fire has been a collaborative effort. The HSFD is providing firefighters on continuous six-hour shifts. Nearly all area fire departments in the region have assisted or will assist them in the coming days, including Lake Hamilton, 70 West, Fountain Lake, Benton, Malvern, Hot Springs Village, Cutter Morning Star and more.
Hot Springs National Park (HSNP) has a wildland truck that is patrolling the area for embers. A second HSNP truck has been summoned to assist.
Garland County Judge Rick Davis has contacted Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe’s office to request an emergency declaration, and the owner of the building is being sent formal notice today of the city’s efforts to address the immediate concerns to public health, safety and welfare posed by the fire. Judge Davis will coordinate with the City of Hot Springs to begin the demolition of the older section of the Majestic (the yellow building) as early as today in order to mitigate the safety hazards posed by the still-burning structure. The Hot Springs Sanitation Department will haul the rubble to the county landfill if allowed by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. The Stormwater Division will gauge the runoff for water quality concerns. ADEQ has also been contacted regarding a waiver of hazardous materials removal for the structure.
Students at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts are being asked to shelter in place at this time.
The fire is estimated to take an undetermined number of days to completely extinguish.
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