Desert Hotel Fire


By Robert Singletary for the Nickelsworth

On Sunday night, June 25, 1972, the Desert Hotel, and several offices in the building, were destroyed by fire. None of the guests or employees were injured. The fire started in the northwest corner of the basement and traveled through the air conditioning system to the rest of the building. More than 40 firemen battled the blaze for several hours. The Coeur d’Alene Fire Department was aided by firemen from Post Falls, Rathdrum, and Spirit Lake. The landmark hotel was built in 1905 as the Hotel Idaho and was designed like an old Spanish Mission. In 1924, it was purchased by Victor Desert from Spokane and renamed the Desert Inn. For over sixty years, the hotel was the business and social center of  Coeur d’Alene.

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