May 18, 2024
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by Sarah DoironLeah Crowley

12 News reports that the historical Block Island Inn, which was destroyed in a fire on the weekend, will be demolished soon.

The National Register of Historic Places listed Harborside Inn caught on fire late Friday night.

The fire departments of the entire state responded quickly and aggressively. Firefighters from the U.S. Coast Guard were sent to Point Judith, while the Block Island Ferry brought ladder trucks, engines and other equipment.

According to Rhode Island Fire Marshal Timothy McLaughlin, over 80 firefighters were sent to the island overnight.

He said, “It was an unbelievable response.” Kudos for all those involved.

McLaughlin told 12 News that the hotel would be destroyed later this week, after it was deemed to be a total failure.

He described the building as unstable and a danger to life.

McLaughlin said that the fire started near an exhaust fan on the first-floor of the hotel, and spread quickly to the attic.

McLaughlin stated, “It is an old building.” The wood, just like the majority of buildings there, is very old. “Once a fire is started, it spreads.”

No one has been injured and the cause of this incident is still unknown.

Maryanne Crawford, the New Shoreham Town manager told 12 News the majority of the hotel guests who were displaced have either left the island since or found alternative accommodations.

Crawford added that the fire was sad and affected 10 businesses nearby.

Sabina Matos, the Lt. Sabina Mattos went to the island on Monday in order to evaluate the damages. Sabina Matos said that the government would help the businesses affected to recover.

Crawford has urged its residents to conserve their water as the city’s water supply is expected to return to normal soon after declaring an emergency on the weekend.

Block Island Ferry has resumed its normal schedule, although additional equipment and manpower were sent back over the weekend.

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