Historic Coulterville Hotel Damaged in Fire, Owner Optimistic for Recovery

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The owner of an historic hotel in Coulterville is optimistic about rebuilding the more than 150 year old building which partially burned due to an early morning fire.

But the process may take time and an extensive amount of capital, officials explained.

The blackened windows, the shattered glass - all painful reminders of what should have been a quiet lifestyle for Sara Zahn.

"This is it,” Zahn explained to FOX40 as she pointed at the building.

Zahn has been the owner of the Hotel Jeffery for more than three years. An historic hotel which has served several U.S. Presidents, along with John Muir and Mark Twain.

She said at 1 a.m. she awoke to find her business in flames.

"I was trying to make sure that the guests were out. It was smokey everywhere," Zahn said.

When she realized all of the hotel guests got out safely, that's when she tried to take matters into her own hands.

“And then when I saw the fire to try to fight the fire with a hose, you know, I think that’s your immediate response," Zahn told FOX40.

Her efforts were in vain and proved to be challenging even for experienced firefighters. “It’s been added on to so many different times that there was just so many places we just couldn’t get into,” Cal Fire Captain Gordon Dulcich said.

The blaze finally died several hours later but left an extensive amount of damage. Zahn is shaken but is comforted by friends and hope.

Cal Fire officials said it should take at least a year to rebuild because of the extensive water damage. They add, they have not yet determined a cause.