Texarkana fire marshal orders hotel closure due to violations; management says doors will stay open
TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - Texarkana Arkansas Fire Marshal Jim Walls has placed a sign on the doors of The Boutique Hotel due to fire code violations. However, hotel officials say they aren’t shutting down.
Walls says all occupants were vacated from the premises and they had to take this step for safety reasons. He says they have worked with hotel management for the past couple of years with no apparent progress.
“It got to the point that the people who stay there are not in a safe place. With the fire alarm system and sprinkler system being in trouble, we could have a large number of deaths in there.”
Since posting the sign on the hotel’s door, Walls has returned to the hotel each day writing citations for non-compliance. Hotel Manager Stacey Hughes says there are no safety issues and the hotel is safe for occupancy.
“Our fire system works perfectly fine. The City has not checked my fire system.”
She says at this point, they will continue to pay the fines but will keep doors open for business.
“The building is safe for our guests and all of our employees, including myself. I will have my children up here, that is how safe I feel,” said Hughes.
Meanwhile, those who stay at the hotel are worried if they will have a place to live if the city forces a closure.
“Most of these people have no place to go. They are homeless living on fixed income, they really need help out here,” said Norvis Gipson.
Hotel leaders says they rent around 170 rooms each night.
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