Riding out Saturday’s bitter cold, one group found warmth in commemoration.
It’s been 40 years since 10 people died in a hotel in Greece.
Lisa Beadle says she was too young to fully understand, but curious enough to find out what was going on.
“My mom came home that morning; she worked at a bar/restaurant kind of thing,” said Beadle. “She woke me up and said, ‘Put your clothes on, there’s a fire at the Holiday Inn.’”
Windows casting bright yellow and orange from the flames caught the attention of many.
John Lange was 25 years old when he worked at the Holiday Inn downtown.
“For me, it was just an unbelievable week. It was a week I never knew I would be going through,” he said.
During that morning, he happened to grab breakfast with a friend nearby.
“Next thing we knew, we saw the two waitresses looking out the big picture window and I made the comment, ‘I wonder if the hotel is on fire?’ They said it was; both of us bolted out of our seats and ran right across Ridge Road,” said Lange.
Beadle adds, “At that time, you think, ‘Wow. Holy moly. I’ve never seen anything like that.’ We didn’t know people perished. We see people getting onto buses — all that, we didn’t know until morning.”
The cause of the fire remains unknown.
As Spectrum News learned this week, authorities say they are no longer sure if it was arson, and say it could be accidental.
“At some point we’re all going to die out and the case will die out eventually, but until then we’re going to keep pushing to get an answer,” concluded Beadle.