A few days ago, we visited Holly to take care of some business. It was the first time we have been to town since the terrible fire that took place a few weeks ago. Fire is awful when it’s somewhere it shouldn’t be. It has no respect for property, memories, or life. Luckily, this time, no lives were lost.
The incredible skill and work of the many dedicated fire fighters and community volunteers kept the fire from taking more than it did. The front of the Historic Holly Hotel, if it weren’t for escaping smoke leaving stains under the eves, looks almost unscathed.
I obviously wasn’t able to see inside the building. I imagine there is smoke and water damage throughout.
As I walked around, the faint smell of smoke followed me.
All that remains of Arcade Antiques is what appears to be the entrance door frame and scorched rubble.
I know absolutely nothing about fighting fires, except the importance of killing the fire as quickly as possible. It seems to be an unmistakeable miracle the firefighters were able to stop the fire from consuming the old hotel. The brick wall, about eight inches thick, was the line in the sand where the firefighters said, “No more.” Yes, there is damage to the roof, but the hotel still stands.
Looking toward South Saginaw Street, you would never know the end of Battle Alley was nearly destroyed by fire. The business that stands next to what used to be Arcade Antiques promises its customers the doors will be open once again. The historic plaque describing events that took place many years ago still hangs on the Holly Hotel.
While I stood on Broad Street taking photos, I could see and hear workers on the second floor of the Andy’s Place building, shoveling debris out to a waiting dumbster.
The photo on the left is the view from Junction Street along the railroad track, looking toward the hotel. The middle photo is the Moose Lodge and Andy’s Place. The photo on the right is the lot between the hotel and Andy’s Place looking toward where Arcade Antiques stood.
As a result of the community of Holly standing together, and the bravery and tireless work of firefighters from home and many surrounding areas, Holly did and will survive and continue to be a favorite of visitors from near and far.