Marysville grapples with traffic headaches, costly mess following destructive fire at historic hotel

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

After a historic Marysville hotel was destroyed in a fire over the weekend, the city is grappling with the loss of a landmark along with a traffic and safety mess.The historic hotel, currently vacant, sits in the center of downtown Marysville on Fifth Street and E Street. E Street is also Highway 70.There have been extensive road closures in place since the fire began Saturday night, including Highway 70, which serves as a main artery through the town. Rerouted traffic moved slowly Thursday through a maze of detour signs. The traffic shifts coupled with regular congestion in the city made for frustrating conditions.“I’m sure it’s very frustrating, especially for people that either live or work through here. It’s a very busy corridor,” said Steven Nelson, a spokesperson for Caltrans District 3.Marysville Fire Chief Kyle Heggstrom said fire crews dispatched around 9:30 p.m. Saturday to reports of the structure fire and were quickly met with challenges. The old building is some 90,000 square feet, he said, five stories tall and centrally located. There was concern the embers from the fire could spread to nearby businesses.“About two and half hours in, the fire became pretty erratic and we pulled the crews out and reorganized our attack,” he said. “Clearly the amount of fire damage that happened to the building itself really created some concern for all involved.”The concern, he said, has shifted to fear of the building’s collapse.“The last thing we want is more damage,” he said.An engineering firm declared the building structurally unsound, which resulted in a prolonged closure. Nelson said he hoped this could be resolved within the next few weeks, but an exact timeline was still unclear.“We’d love to reopen Highway 70 but it’s obviously a safety concern,” said Nelson. “Until we get the okay to reopen the highway, we’ve got to keep it closed.”“It’s kind of a unique situation where this is E Street in Marysville, but it’s also a state highway,” Nelson said.City Manager Jim Schaad confirmed Thursday that the city had rejected an offer from the owner of the historic Hotel Marysville to donate the property to the city following the fire.“Unfortunately, the offer made by the owner’s legal counsel was such that the demolition costs to remove the building are likely higher than the value of the property after demolition,” Schaad said in a statement to KCRA 3. “I do not see this as a reasonable solution for a problem that is clearly the responsibility of the property owner.”Marysville city leaders planned to discuss legal matters associated with the aftermath of the fire Friday morning in a closed session, Schaad said.He said the owners had been cited multiple times in recent months for fire hazards and not having the building properly secured. He did not have specific dates of those citations available.Marysville city leaders scheduled an emergency city council meeting Friday, following the closed session, to discuss declaring a state of emergency over the matter. Schaad said the state of emergency would allow the city to open communications with the state about possibly aiding in the efforts to get Highway 70 back open to the public.See more coverage of top California stories here | Download our app.

After a historic Marysville hotel was destroyed in a fire over the weekend, the city is grappling with the loss of a landmark along with a traffic and safety mess.

The historic hotel, currently vacant, sits in the center of downtown Marysville on Fifth Street and E Street. E Street is also Highway 70.

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There have been extensive road closures in place since the fire began Saturday night, including Highway 70, which serves as a main artery through the town.

Rerouted traffic moved slowly Thursday through a maze of detour signs. The traffic shifts coupled with regular congestion in the city made for frustrating conditions.

“I’m sure it’s very frustrating, especially for people that either live or work through here. It’s a very busy corridor,” said Steven Nelson, a spokesperson for Caltrans District 3.

Marysville Fire Chief Kyle Heggstrom said fire crews dispatched around 9:30 p.m. Saturday to reports of the structure fire and were quickly met with challenges. The old building is some 90,000 square feet, he said, five stories tall and centrally located. There was concern the embers from the fire could spread to nearby businesses.

“About two and half hours in, the fire became pretty erratic and we pulled the crews out and reorganized our attack,” he said. “Clearly the amount of fire damage that happened to the building itself really created some concern for all involved.”

The concern, he said, has shifted to fear of the building’s collapse.

“The last thing we want is more damage,” he said.

An engineering firm declared the building structurally unsound, which resulted in a prolonged closure. Nelson said he hoped this could be resolved within the next few weeks, but an exact timeline was still unclear.

“We’d love to reopen Highway 70 but it’s obviously a safety concern,” said Nelson. “Until we get the okay to reopen the highway, we’ve got to keep it closed.”

“It’s kind of a unique situation where this is E Street in Marysville, but it’s also a state highway,” Nelson said.

City Manager Jim Schaad confirmed Thursday that the city had rejected an offer from the owner of the historic Hotel Marysville to donate the property to the city following the fire.

“Unfortunately, the offer made by the owner’s legal counsel was such that the demolition costs to remove the building are likely higher than the value of the property after demolition,” Schaad said in a statement to KCRA 3. “I do not see this as a reasonable solution for a problem that is clearly the responsibility of the property owner.”

Marysville city leaders planned to discuss legal matters associated with the aftermath of the fire Friday morning in a closed session, Schaad said.

He said the owners had been cited multiple times in recent months for fire hazards and not having the building properly secured. He did not have specific dates of those citations available.

Marysville city leaders scheduled an emergency city council meeting Friday, following the closed session, to discuss declaring a state of emergency over the matter. Schaad said the state of emergency would allow the city to open communications with the state about possibly aiding in the efforts to get Highway 70 back open to the public.

See more coverage of top California stories here | Download our app.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.