BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The fire at Buffalo Grand Hotel on December 30 has been ruled as arson by the Buffalo Fire Department and ATF.
The three-alarm fire started around 1:00 a.m. in an area that was under renovation near the hotel's ballroom. It spread to an adjacent parking ramp from there, the fire department said.
Harry Stinson. who owns the hotel, said the ballroom was destroyed along with the kitchen next to it. The room was going to be revealed for a New Year's Eve celebration on Friday, but that did not happen.
"I don't think it was an accident," said Stinson on Thursday as investigators combed the remains.
More than 40 guests in the hotel were evacuated but allowed to return after a few hours when crews determined the fire wouldn't spread to the hotel area.
The fire department said it took them until after 4:00 a.m. to bring the fire completely under control.
Damage is estimated at $3 million and Stinson said he hopes to have the damages fixed by summer. He said he has invested between $7-$8 million in the hotel since he bought it for $20 million.