Goshen Assistant Fire Chief Jim Ramer said this afternoon that a fire at the Goshen Inn, 1375 Lincolnway East, Monday was deliberately set and that damage is about $150,000.

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 blaze, which was confined to the restaurant and dining areas in the front of the building, according to Fire Chief Dan Sink.

Sink said he believes the cause of the fire may have been “incendiary” in nature.

He 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. In the front of the building are meeting rooms and the restaurant/lounge.

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

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