Officials can’t determine cause of Lawrence hotel fire

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Investigators say it is too dangerous and would be too expensive to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a Lawrence hotel.

The city announced the cause of the Jan. 15 fire at the Americas Best Value Inn was officially undetermined. No one was injured.

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Marshal James King said Monday extensive excavation would be needed before investigators could go inside the three-story building, which largely collapsed after the fire.

He says investigators so far found no evidence of arson, so officials decided the expense of the excavation wouldn't be justified.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports King said investigators would have pursued the excavation if they strongly suspected criminal activity.

The building is a total loss but investigators had not yet calculated a dollar figure for the damages.