Three Palestine Fire Department units responded to an alarm at the historic Redlands Hotel on Queen and Oak streets in downtown Palestine Wednesday night just as Hurricane Laura slammed into the Louisiana shoreline.
A family of evacuees from Cameron, Louisiana, staying at the hotel, watched the storm slammed into their hometown on their cell phones as they waited in the street to return to their room.
Firefighters were dispatched to a fire that started in the Queen Street Grille restaurant, located on the first floor of the hotel at 11:22 p.m.
The hotel, full of evacuees from hurricane Laura, began to fill with smoke, and guests were forced from their rooms while firemen extinguished the fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but believed to be electrical.
Guests were able to return to their rooms early Thursday morning.
The building constructed in 1914 and opened in March of 1915 was billed as fireproof by its architects.
The Queen Street Grille restaurant will remain closed for two weeks to recover from the smoke and fire damage.