GANNAWARRA councillor Neil Gannon said it was a “crying shame” to see the historic Kerang Hotel go up in smoke earlier this month.
In the early hours of Saturday, September 7, the popular hotel was destroyed by fire.
An alarm was raised at about 6.15am with 14 fire crews from as far as New South Wales responding to the call.
Cr Gannon said it was a shame to see the Kerang landmark destroyed.
“Kerang hasn’t had a good run with hotels in the past few years,” he said.
“About three or four years ago the Gilbert Club Hotel was also burnt down and then a few weeks ago the Albert Hotel was blown over.”
Cr Gannon said the hotel was built in the 1920s and had a lot of historic memorabilia, which has now been ruined.
“The Kerang Hotel is an icon,” he said.
Cr Gannon said locals were still “teary-eyed” after the incident.
“It is a double story hotel and she just fell in,” he said.
“People are just devastated.”
Cr Gannon said he has lived in Kerang for about 40 years.
“When I first moved here we owned the Mystic Park Hotel and we had a great relationship with the previous owners,” he said.
“I think the current owners have done a terrific job with the place.”
Kerang CFA volunteer captain Ramon Steel lives three blocks away from the hotel.
He said he could see the smoke and flames as he backed out of his driveway on the morning of the fire.
“It’s a massive building built in 1928 with a big old verandah,” Mr Steel said.
“It’s the first building you see as you come into town with a bell tower façade.”
Mr Steel said it was an electrical fire that caused the blaze.
He said it was an extremely sad day for Kerang.
Cr Gannon said he hoped the owners would rebuild.
"I am not sure what the owners are planning," he said.
"It would be a shame to lose it altogether."