Massive response to blaze at Hotel Bentley

Flames and smoke atop the Hotel Bentley in downtown Alexandria drew a massive response Friday morning from the city fire department, which was working furiously to extinguish the blaze as of 9 a.m.

The fire was “under control” as of 9:15, a fire department staff member said. Smoke from the roof appeared to be drifting away.

The Bentley is between City Hall and the Randolph Riverfront Center in the tightly-packed downtown area adjacent to the Jackson Street Bridge over Red River.

Nearby observers said that recently, work has been underway on repairs to the roof at the historic hotel, and while appearances are that the flames are on the roof, it’s strictly speculation at this point where the fire originated.

“It looks like every fire truck in Alexandria is on the scene,” said one person.

A city fire department employee confirmed that.