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Published: Wednesday, 7/20/2005

Fire-ravaged Wauseon hotel to be demolished

WAUSEON - Demolition crews last night were dismantling at least part of the Clermont Manor Apartments without determining the cause of last Wednesday's fire in the historic former railroad hotel.

"The building's a mess, and it's unsafe to go near it," owner Tim Dennis said.

Officials at midday condemned the building and decided not to risk entering it to attempt to determine the cause of the fire, Wauseon Fire Chief Marv Wheeler said.

Mr. Dennis last week retrieved for his tenants personal items, such as pictures, from about half the building's 20 apartments.

But yesterday when fire officials attempted to dismantle a section of the building so they could safely enter the area where the believe the blaze started, the building shifted west slightly, threatening a medical office a few feet away.

Last night, demolition equipment was moving into place near the former Hotel Blair at 124 Depot St. as a band played and about 1,000 people milled about at a cruise-in of 300 historic and classic cars on Fulton Street less than a block away.

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