Flory property future unclear after fire
By Brent Curtis
staff writer | March 11,2014
Anthony Edwards / Staff Photo
The aftermath of the blaze that destroyed the old Flory's Motel in Center Rutland is seen on Monday morning.
Tony Flory said there was little left of his family’s motel even before a fire started Sunday afternoon that razed the building on Business Route 4 in Rutland Town.
A thriving business when it opened next to Flory’s Restaurant in the late 1960s, the 26-room motel closed in the early 1990s and has been deteriorating as the result of natural and man-made causes ever since, Flory said.
“It was gonna have to come down sooner or later,” Flory said. “Vandalism did the most damage to it. They stole the wiring and all the copper and broke every window in the place.”
He said he’s sure that it was a similar act of destruction that ultimately destroyed the building.
“It’s got to be arson,” he said. “There was no power or electricity in the building. No heat. Someone had to have started it.”
Vermont State Police investigators spent the morning combing through the burnt remains for clues about the fire’s origins. But, by 5 p.m., State Police Lt. James Cruise said no determination had been made yet.
“We’re still investigating the circumstances of whether the fire was set,” he said.
Firefighters from 11 towns and from Rutland City tried to save the motel after the fire was reported at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
But by about 6:30 p.m., an excavator was brought to the scene to tear down the remains so firefighters could douse hot spots in the wreckage.
No firefighters were hurt in the blaze and officials have said there were no signs that anyone was in the building after the fire started.
The building has been a subject of controversy in Rutland Town for years, as some residents and town officials have said that the motel and nearby Flory’s plaza were in such advanced state’s of disrepair and neglect that they had become eyesores and should be torn down.
Flory said Monday he didn’t disagree that the buildings needed to come down, but he said taking any action involving the structures — which all sit on the same piece of property — has been difficult since his parents died and left the estate split between 10 different parties, including Flory, his seven siblings and their spouses.
“It has to be cleaned up but the best thing would be just to sell it,” Flory said of the 10-acre property.
But even cleaning up the charred remains could be difficult considering the consensus that would need to be reached among all the estate holders.
“I can’t answer that. I don’t really know,” Flory said when asked if the estate holders would remove the motel’s remains.