Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Police News

August 13, 2013

Vacant Goshen Inn damaged by arson

GOSHEN — A fire that damaged parts of the Goshen Inn Monday night was deliberately set, according to Goshen Assistant Fire Chief Jim Ramer.

The blaze in the vacant hotel at 1375 Lincolnway East, caused about $150,000 in damage, Ramer said Tuesday.

Goshen police reported passers-by saw smoke coming from the front of the building at 8:02 p.m. Monday and reported the fire. Firefighters arrived and extinguished the fire, which was confined to the restaurant and dining areas in the front of the building, according to Fire Chief Dan Sink.

Sink said gas and electric service was turned off in the building.

Fire and police officials are asking for the public to call them with information about who may have started the blaze. The fire department’s number is 574-875-4315 and the police department number is 574-533-8661. The Arson Hot Line number is 1-800-382-4628. Tipsters can receive a reward of up to $5,000 if information leads to an arrest.

Sink said the Patel family still owns the building. The city of Goshen has obtained the tax lien on the building from the county with the intent of trying to control what development occurs there in the future.

Former owner Kiran (Ken) Patel was murdered inside the motel in October 2011 by a homeless man he had hired to help renovate the pool area.

The property dates to when it was constructed as a Holiday Inn Holidome. The inn has a central recreation area that once featured the pool and a miniature golf course.

The building has been sitting vacant since before Patel’s murder.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

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