Fire-damaged hotel reopens after long closure

Exterior of the hotel from the front
The Fairfield Inn and Suites is located at 6421 Richmond Highway.

The Fairfield Inn & Suites in the Groveton area reopened Tuesday after being closed for nearly 18 months following a fire.

The September 7, 2018 fire started after the hotel was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm. The strike caused a two-alarm fire, but sprinklers helped keep the blaze from spreading beyond the attic and an area above two unoccupied rooms, the fire department said at the time.

There were 50 guests in the hotel at the time of the fire, but all were evacuated safely and no injuries were reported by the fire department.

Located at 6421 Richmond Highway (see map), the 116-room Fairfield Inn & Suites had only been open for about a year when the lightning strike occurred. It was the newest hotel on the Richmond Highway corridor, having replaced the old Fairview Motel, which had stood on the property since 1956.

The fire department had estimated damage to the hotel as being around $65,000 shortly after the blaze. However county permits indicated the reconstruction effort cost more than $400,000 — although an exact amount is unknown; an email sent to Marriott for more information was not immediately returned.