In the wee hours of 10 January 1871, a fire broke out in the hotel. The cisterns and wells in town were nearly dry, and volunteers had to haul water from a pond just outside of town. The fire was intense, and the hotel was completely destroyed. Ira Percival's young son, Orville, a young girl named Christina Ransler who was living with the family, and a domestic servant named Amanda Garrison all died in the fire. Soon after the tragedy, the Percivals sold the property and moved to Union where they bought another hotel.
The victims of the fire are buried in the Percival family cemetery on Walton-Nicholson Road, including Amanda Garrison, who is listed as “coloured” on her tombstone. African-Americans were generally buried in separate cemeteries at that time. It is believed that their badly burned bodies were impossible to distinguish, leading to all three victims being buried together.