The historic Hotel Belvedere, burned to the ground early on Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in the morning in what has been deemed a “suspicious occurrence.”
Located in Oklahoma Borough, the fire started after midnight, and by the time the fire department arrived the building was reduced to rubble. Firefighters stayed at the scene for five hours battling the flames, using a ladder to spray it down.
In 1905, Hotel Belvedere, meaning “beautiful view” in Italian, was built by a Swedish man who immigrated to the United States. The owner, Joseph Giannini, gained popularity with his hotel due to it being located next to the West Apollo Railroad Station. According to reports, the building is 110 years old and had fallen into disrepair by 1979. It was condemned later in 2017.
However, many of those in the vicinity believed that this fire was not an accident due to the hotel being abandoned for 2 years – leaving the building’s utilities inactive.
The debris from the fire was so extensive that Route 66 and a rail line nearby was shut down for public safety.
The fire marshal has started an investigation into the fire’s origin, believing the fire to have been deliberately set.
No injuries were reported at the scene.
Written by Brielle R. Buford
Edited by Jeanette Smith
WTAE: ‘Suspicious’ fire destroys 100+ year old hotel in Westmoreland County
CBS Pittsburgh: Historic Hotel Burns To The Ground In Westmoreland County
Patch: Historic Pittsburgh-Area Hotel Destroyed By Fire
Featured And Top Image Courtesy of Heather Paul’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License