HOLLY, Mich. – A fire badly damaged four buildings Tuesday in Downtown Holly. It took crews one million gallons of water to put the fire out. Many of the downtown businesses were closed Wednesday due to smoke and water damage and power outages. Consumers Energy turned the power off in the area as crews battled flames and have to inspect businesses before they return the power.
The historic Holly Hotel was one of the buildings damaged by the fire.
Local bride, Katie O’Keefe planned to marry her fiancé Kyle in Battle Alley at Holly Hotel Saturday.
“We chose the Holly Hotel because it was such an amazing central location. It’s a beautiful small-town feel. I fell in love with it,” said O’Keefe.
They delayed their wedding last year because of COVID-19 and now their Saturday plans are ruined. O’Keefe said, “I wake up to find out that ’honey, the venue is on fire!’”
Holly Hotel owners George and Chrissy Kutlenios said while their building is still standing there is a lot of water damage inside. The hotel has had three fires, one in 1913, another in 1978 and now 2022.
“The fire chief told us today that they knew the arcade was pretty well gone,” said George Kutlenois. “The bar next door to this place was pretty well gone. They (fire crews) didn’t want to lose this building too.”
Chrissy Kutlenios said, “The fire chief now was a very young fireman at the fire in 1978. And he’s here again and he said, ‘I didn’t want to see that roof go up again’. And he said they attacked it in a way that they knew that they could save the Holly Hotel.”
The Kutlenios said they met with staff Wednesday and want to rebuild but with a wedding on Saturday, O’Keefe is out of a wedding venue. “We have been trying to chase down venues. We’ve had a lot of outreach, thankfully. A lot of people loving to help. It’s been pretty heartwarming, actually.”
They were able to line up Venue 111 in Holly who they say have been super helpful during this difficult time.
Holly Hotel staff have been calling wedding parties and other people hosting any future events to let them know about the fire. George said another Holly business stepped up and is helping cater a wedding the Holly Hotel could no longer do because of the damage.