Wisconsin Dells, WI Landmark Hotel Destroyed By Fire, Jan 1974

Crandall Hotel Fire


Wisconsin Dells -- Deputy State Fire Marshal PAUL SAINSBURY Thursday continued his probe into the cause of a fire which destroyed a landmark hotel complex and injured one person early Wednesday.
Joining SAINSBURY in the search for clues to the blaze, which leveled the Multnomah Manor and heavily damaged the Crandall Motor Inn, is the Wisconsin Dells Police Dept.

In 'Fair' Condition.
Spokesmen from both agencies said that arson is strongly suspected in the fire since the two buildings, which are located across the street from each other, broke into flames simultaneously.
JOHN LUMBY, 26, manager of the complex, was hospitalized for smoke inhalation. He was reported in "fair" condition Thursday at St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo.
Several firemen were treated for frost bite as temperatures dipped to 8 below as they fought the blaze. One other fireman suffered a broken leg when he was hit by a high-pressure hose.
The sub-zero temperatures which prevailed during the fire, caused heavy freezing of the water poured on the blaze and is hampering the probe by the authorities.
The fire was discovered by Wisconsin Dells policemen at about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Credited With Rescue.
Some 50 firemen from the Kilbourn (Dells) and Lake Delton Fire Depts. fought the blaze.
Fire Capt. HANS FEDDERLY and Lt. RONALD GALITZ were credited with rescuing LUMBY from his apartment quarters in the Multnomah Manor building.
Both the Crandall and Multnomah buildings were closed for the winter. LUMBY was the only occupant.
The two buildings are owned by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and had been operated and open to the public as hotel ang guest room facilities.

Favorite of Older Groups.
The Crandall building was one of the first hotels in Wisconsin Dells. The stately 19th Century structure was once owned by G. H. CRANDALL. It was turned over to WARF by the Crandall family in 1954. WARF later bought the Multnomah building, which was better known as the Dixon House. It had been in the Dixon family since 1889.
The Crandall building was a favorite spot for older groups because of its stately furnishings and grounds which overlook the Wisconsin River from a high cliff. It was distinguished by huge white colonnades across its front.

Wisconsin State Journal Madison Wisconsin 1974-01-11