Community mourns after a fire rips through the beloved Depauville Hotel

Published: Apr. 16, 2023 at 6:22 PM EDT
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DEPAUVILLE, New York (WWNY) - Fire crews across Jefferson County sprung into action early morning Sunday to help contain a fire at the Depauville Hotel.

The call came in just before 1 AM for a fire at the Stephanie Street location in the hamlet. Video sent to us via Send it to 7 shows the structure completely engulfed in flames as more than a dozen fire departments came to help.

The pub had already closed for the night when the fire started and there are no injuries to report. Fire officials on scene say it took about an hour to get the blaze under control. In the hours that passed, our cameras caught what was left, as you can see, the 2nd floor completely gone.

Residents and pub owners came together Sunday to look through what’s still standing.

Lorraine Rogers, who ran the place for 20 years alongside Ken Rogers, says the bar has served food and drinks to many generations.

“Five generations, a lot of firefighters‚ a lot of farmers, a lot of school bus drivers, back in the day, but no, all walks of life,” said Lorraine Rogers.

The pub went up in flames in the early morning hours on Sunday. Town of Clayton District chief Josh Reome says when he arrived on scene the fire was intense. He says the second floor was roaring in flames.

No one was inside the hotel at the time. It had already closed for the night when the call came in.

Reome says all fire departments on scene took defensive action to control the blaze and adds that once the building, which was built in the 1800’s, caught fire, it was not going to make it.

A cause for the fire is unknown and still under investigation at this time.

Doug Harnes, who lives across from the hotel, made the 911 call.

“I was ready to go to bed and I shut the light off in my dining room and the walls seemed to be kind of flickering, and went ‘that’s kind of odd’, and went outside to take a look and the hotel was on fire,” said Harnes.

Bartending Saturday night at the hotel was Brooklyn Brownell. She didn’t think it would be her last shift for a while.

“Never, I would have never thought that something would happen like this,” said Brownell.

She says the hotel is a home to many.

“This establishment was just a huge staple in our community. Every customer, all the community is family, we love each other here. It’s just a great time to relax, I’m absolutely devastated, I have so many good memories here,” said Brownell.

Lorraine agrees and says the hotel is the heart of the hamlet.

“A hundred and something year old building, and as you can see by the cars in the parking lot, it speaks volumes, volumes, loved by all,” said Lorraine Rogers.

The owners of the Depauville Hotel, Paul and Connie Recor, tell 7 News they plan to rebuild the establishment, and appreciate the community’s support at this time.