Fire destroys hotel, village hub in Ryley, Alta.

Fire has destroyed a hotel and restaurant in Ryley, Alta., a village about an hour southeast of Edmonton.
Fire guts the historic hotel and restaurant in Ryley, Alta., about an hour southeast of Edmonton. (Submitted by Brian Strilchuk)

Fire has destroyed a hotel and restaurant in Ryley, Alta., a village about an hour southeast of Edmonton.

Fire broke out early Sunday morning at the Ryley Hotel on 50th Avenue, just across from the railway tracks and around the corner from the village office.

"It had quite a big history to it. And it's going to leave an awfully big hole in the town, that's for sure," said Brian Strilcuk, who owns a business across the street.

"A lot of people spent a lot of time there over the years. And it's going to hurt, that's for sure."

Strilchuk estimates the fire broke out around 6 a.m., and as of 12 noon it was still burning. His business has become a hub for fire crews that came to fight the flames.

"I opened up my shop and we set up a table in there. There's people bringing food and whatnot, coffee. … The whole community gets together, that's for sure."

Strilchuk said everyone made it out of the hotel and no one was hurt.

Mayor Lorraine Warren-Nimeck told CBC News that the hotel is about 100 years old.

She said fire crews from nearby communities came to help, but that the building couldn't be saved.

The fire is now under investigation.

 

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