Extensive fire damages Richmond Hill Inn (Twitter report) ***UPDATED***

Fire in the early night hours of March 19 burned an extensive portion of Richmond Hill Inn. Here’s the initial report, via citizen reporting on Twitter:

@h0zae: (2am) Fire at Richmond Hill Inn. Reportedly hotel is vacant for renovations. Via @notsostable

fobes:Main bldg of Richmond Hill Inn burned down last night, according to person at Richmond Hill Rest Home.  8:35 am

@h0zae: Richmond Hill Inn fire: Unclear which structure(s) involved, but damage extensive. Cit-Times story: tinyurl.com/c7czva   8:43 am

fobes:Burned, restored, now this: Richmond Hill Inn was extensively damaged by arson in 1995, then restored. bit.ly/PPDTt   8:52 am

fobes:RT @asheville: news: Video from last night: Richmond Hill Inn fire (via Cit-Times) tinyurl.com/dz6u8f   8:59 am

LIVE CAM: RT@AshevilleLive: Looks like firefighters r still working to extinguish fire bit.ly/CiSGW Can see spraying water.  9:10 am

mountainxpress: at scene of richmond hill fire, firefighters douse hotspots on historic structure. 11:35 am

mountainxpress: richmond hill inn property was in foreclosure, according to former employees. 11:36 am

mountainxpress:richmond hill inn was closed last night; only person on ppty was owner. 11:38 am

mountainxpress: richmond hill was built by pearsons. former ambassador and congressman. 11:40 am

mountainxpress: lost in richmond hill fire- original paintings, books, history. 11:41 am

mountainxpress: poet sidney lanier stayed at the richmond hill inn. 11:43 am

mountainxpress: avl historical asstn bought richmond hill inn and dr. albert michel bought it for 1 dollar, then restored. 11:46 am

mountainxpress: richmond hill in was restored in 1989. 11:48 am

mountainxpress: arson investigators on scene at richmond hill inn, one w sniffer dog. 11:51 am

mountainxpress: chief arson investigator buddy thompson says fire crews will be at rich. hill all day. 11:53 am

mountainxpress: richmond hill inn 20 years ago was all but forgotten; now its four-star four-diamond. 11:55 am

mountainxpress: many a guest reported seeing ghosts at richmond hill inn. now are they gone? 11:58 am

suehuskins:RT @JSFW: From Bill Rhodes, snaps of last night’s Richmond Hill Inn fire: tinyurl.com/d76cyj 12:02 pm

mountainxpress: more onlookers, including one woman in tears, arrive to see ricnmond hill inn damage. 12:05 pm

mountainxpress: richmond hill inn had sprinkler system, employees say. 12:12 pm

mountainxpress: richmond hill inn had rooms named for fitzgerald, wolfe, o’henry. 12:13 pm

mountainxpress: richmond hill inn was moved 600 feet in 1980s; lgest structural move of home in u.s. at time. 12:14 pm

mountainxpress: more onlookers arrive to asheville landmark, richmond hill inn, destroyed. 12:16 pm

mountainxpress: water pours down richmond hill drive as firefighters keep pouring water on. 12:17 pm

Click here to see a photo gallery of the Richmond Hill Inn fire.

Below is the news release from the Asheville Fire Department:
March 19, 2009
City of Asheville
Asheville Fire and Rescue

Major Structure Fire – UPDATE
Asheville Fire and Rescue crews are continuing operations at a major structure fire at the Richmond Hill Inn located at 87 Richmond Hill Drive.  Crews now have the fire that was located in the Mansion Inn under control.  The Asheville Fire and Rescue Department continues to be assisted by twelve fire departments throughout Buncombe County.  There are no reported injuries associated with this fire.  The Asheville Buncombe Arson Task Force is investigating the cause and origin of the fire at this time. Crews are expected to remain at the scene throughout the day. Further information will be provided as it becomes available.  Please contact Asheville Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer Kelley Webb at (828)768-1437 for further information.
Scott Burnette
Assistant Fire Chief
Asheville Fire and Rescue Department



About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

6 thoughts on “Extensive fire damages Richmond Hill Inn (Twitter report) ***UPDATED***

  1. Logan Robertson

    We were up there taking pictures and in one of the rooms left was a white robe that had not been burned. So the ghosts gone? No. Probably not.

  2. Jason Jones

    As a Native and former resident of Asheville, I am saddened to hear the news of Richmond Hill Burning down. I am a Wedding DJ in Los Angeles, and when I lived in Asheville I worked at the Inn many times, it is a beautiful location for Weddings.
    I hope the cause of this fire is discovered. I will continue watching your local news and coverage of this event.


    Jason Jones

  3. Terry Darakjy

    As a Richmond Hill resident I have always been an avid fan of the Inn. I am shocked and saddened at the demise of this beautiful landmark and historical home. The old Pearson estate was literally moved and restored to life and became a thriving peaceful spot in the rapidly dwindling charm of Asheville.I will cherish every memory I have of dining, staying overnight,taking tea with friends and strolling through its gardens.The beautiful stained glass from the original home had been preserved and given back to incorporate into her refurbishment-now sadly that is gone up in flames too.I have to pass her charred remains on my way home tonight and know I shall find that a very hard thing to witness. Nothing will bring back the history & grandeur of that bygone time that the Richmond Hill Inn perfectly preserved. Goodbye old friend.

  4. shedevil

    It was not haunted… it just had a lot of history. I spent a lot of time there and nothing strange ever happened. Owner most likely the cause of fire.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.