A historic Rhode Island that was damaged in a fire over the weekend will need to be demolished.
According to a WPRI.com report, The Harborside Inn caught fire on Friday night. The hotel is on Block Island, a resort off the Rhode Island coastline, and the scope of the fire required departments from across the state to be brought to Block Island by ferry and U.S. Coast Guard vessels.
Rhode Island State Fire Marshal Timothy McLaughlin estimated that nearly 80 firefighters were brought to the island to fight the blaze, but he added the hotel cannot be salvaged and will be taken down later this week.
“It’s definitely a life and safety hazard, collapse-wise,” he said. “It is an unstable building at this point.”
The three-story, 36-room hotel opened in 1879 as The Pequot House and changed names and ownership over the years. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been a popular destination with tourists who flock to Block Island during the summer.
McLaughlin added the fire most likely began in the hotel’s first-floor kitchen near an exhaust vent before spreading throughout the Victorian structure. There were no injuries from the fire, which is still under investigation.
“It’s an old building – the wood is old, like most of the buildings over there,” he said. “They have been there for a long time. So, once a fire starts … it just goes.”
Photo by Billy Hathorn / Wikimedia Commons