Twenty firefighters were called out to South Deeside Road in Maryculter on Monday afternoon after a blaze broke out at the historic former pub and hotel.
Four appliances and a height vehicle were used to extinguish the fire in the Mill Inn, with crews spending about three hours on-scene. The South Deeside Road was closed for a period.
The co-owner of the Old Mill Inn hotel has described the fire that tore through the premises as “another sad chapter” for the site.
The hotel closed a few years ago, with plans then being put forward for a accommodation camp to house people working on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. That came to nothing.
Recently the property has been a target for vandals.
It had been a popular venue over the years, particularly when the Champers extension was added, a venue for events and weddings.
On Wednesday police in Aberdeenshire are appealing for information and potential dashcam footage.
A joint enquiry with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is ongoing and the fire is believed to have been started deliberately.
Detective Constable Keith Morrison said: “We’re asking for anyone who may have been in the area and witnessed anything suspicious to please come forward. This includes any motorists who may have potential dashcam footage which could prove useful for our investigation.“Anyone with information should contact police on 101, quoting incident 2165 of 22 February. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, if you wish to remain anonymous.”
This area has lost several hotels in recent decades: the hotel at Muchalls (replaced by houses), Cammachmore Hotel (lying empty, with plans approved for housing), the Hillside Hotel (replaced by houses), the Netherley House Hotel (converted into homes), the Lairhillock Inn (now empty) and the adjacent Lairhillock Lodge (plans approved for conversion to housing).
There is more coverage of the Mill Inn fire at https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp/news/local/another-sad-chapter-in-the-old-mill-inn-saga-owner-of-former-hotel-looks-to-the-future-as-historic-premises-burns-down/?fbclid=IwAR2o5P5ellGZ7lMcFPvVk920I4vRwVqJAitAeTvV7UUVWgStP8ncUcarydM