Fire devastates historic Archer Inn in Northfield

No injuries were reported in the blaze at the 143-year-old river inn.
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A fire ripped through the historic Archer House Inn and Bar on the Cannon River in Northfield on Thursday afternoon, causing extensive damage to the 143-year-old hotel.

The fire was reported at about 3:30 p.m., with initial reports indicating the blaze began in a food smoker at Smoqehouse, located in the same building as the Archer House at 212 Division St., before it spread rapidly through the 143-year-old hotel, Northfield News Reports

Firefighters were still battling the fire early Friday morning, FOX 9 reports, but it was mostly contained by 2:30 a.m., WCCO noted

The hotel, which was built in 1877, was heavily damaged in the blaze, with Fire Chief Gary Franek telling WCCO the main building is a total loss and damage elsewhere is extensive. 

Chief Franek told the news station that the several renovations and remodels the hotel has undergone over the years helped the fire spread because it continued to get behind walls and into new areas. The hotel was last renovated in 2011, the hotel's website notes.

No injuries have been reported as a result of the fire, KSTP says.

The Archer House, on the banks of the Cannon River in the center of downtown Northfield, is one of Minnesota's oldest continually running historic inns, its Facebook page says. The four-story red brick building features the French Second Empire style architecture. 

Hotelier James Archer saw a need for a hotel in Northfield, so he built the hotel, which was welcomed by residents who were eager to ditch the city's "cowboy" image spurred by Jesse James' failed raids on Northfield's First National Bank in 1876, the hotel's website says

The hotel, which is owned by Rebound Hospitality, features two full-service restaurants (Northfield Tavern and Chapait), a coffee shop, a lounge and other amenities.

Not only is the hotel an icon in Northfield, it has also been featured on the silver screen. The 2016 Hallmark Christmas movie "Love Always, Santa" was filmed at the Archer House and other locations around Northfield, Northfield Convention and Visitors Bureau said

Bring Me The News has reached out to the fire department for more information.

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