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.
Steve Arrison with VisitHotSprings told Hoyt, "Without a doubt it looks like a homeless person broke in trying to stay warm. They probably accidentally caused it. We are working through the process of tearing down these buildings, so there's no (financial) loss to us because of this."
Hoyt reports that neighbors at the scene said homeless people had been staying there. Emergency crews said they have no reports of anyone hurt or in the building.
The fire comes days after fire destroyed the Majestic Hotel in downtown Hot Springs; both hotels are listed on the Garland County Historical Society's website and both fires remain under investigation. THV11 will update this story with more information as it becomes available.