By Valerie Posthumus
The Haldimand Press
DUNNVILLE—The worst fire in Dunnville’s history broke out on the morning of January 26, 1969.
It was reported that 43 people were in the hotel at the time the fire broke out, however the hotel register was lost in the fire, so the exact number was not known. Many escaped the building, but it was estimated that 14 people were missing in the fire that devastated the hotel.
“The fire was believed to have started in the lobby area of the second-floor front and the only warning was the sound of three quick thuds in succession at approximately 3 a.m.,” said an article in the January 29, 1969 Dunnville Chronicle. “It is also reported that a passerby had seen a glow in a second-floor window and reported it to local police.”
When firefighters from Dunn, Moulton, and Canborough stations arrived on scene the hotel was fully engulfed. By 4 a.m. two sections of the hotel’s front wall had collapsed into the street. Through the night the firefighters continued their battle, but it wasn’t until about noon that the fire was brought under control.