Investigators are searching for the cause of the fire that destroyed the hotel in Boothbay Harbor

Charred remains were all that remained of the Beach Cove Waterfront Inn on Tuesday, after a fire broke out around 8:30 p.m. Monday night. “We were very lucky that this happened before the start of the season. It went so fast. I’ve been doing this for 8 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Boothbay Harbor volunteer firefighter Sawyer Alley. Brianna Soukup/staff photographer

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the hotel fire that lit up the night sky over the Boothbay Harbor area Monday night with a plume of smoke so large it could be seen on weather radar .

Nothing but smoldering rubble and piles of charred debris remained Tuesday at what was once the secluded Beach Cove Waterfront Inn, located on 3 acres overlooking West Harbor Pond.

The Beach Cove Waterfront Inn, Boothbay Harbor, in August 2018. Photo by © Google Maps

State Fire Marshal Joe Thomas said Tuesday night that investigators may never know what caused the fire. He said the footage shows widespread destruction, leaving investigators with little to do. The fire remains under investigation.

The inn, which opened in 1976, was due to start welcoming customers on Friday but was unoccupied when the fire broke out around 8.30pm on Monday evening, according to investigators.

Boothbay Harbor Fire Chief Nick Upham, the first responder to arrive on the scene, told the News Center Maine that there were no injuries, but several nearby homes were in danger.

When it arrived, Upham said, the two-story wooden structure was “so completely, deeply involved that it was beginning to melt and smoke out the buildings around it. There was no question of saving the motel. We couldn’t even get close enough.

Upham could not be reached on Tuesday evening.

Several nearby houses were occupied when the fire broke out, including one belonging to hostel owners Larissa and Andrei Elizarkov, who live at 42 Lakeview Road. The heat from the fire melted the siding of a house and embers were blown into nearby woods, raising fears the fire could spread.

A woman touches a piece of the charred remains of the Beach Cove Waterfront Inn on Tuesday. The fire broke out around 8:30 p.m. Monday evening. Brianna Soukup/staff photographer

The blaze knocked out at least three utility poles and knocked out power to more than 2,000 Central Maine Power Co. customers Monday night. CMP crews spent Tuesday repairing the damage and power had been restored by Tuesday afternoon.

The inn was valued at $1.1 million, according to city tax records.

In a telephone interview on Tuesday evening, Larissa Elizarkov said the property, which contained 43 rooms, was insured and that she and her husband planned to rebuild.

“I doubt this year, but yes, we will build back better,” she promised.

Larissa said the hostel welcomes guests from all over the country and the world and is a source of pride for the couple.

“It was very near and dear to our hearts,” she said. “It wasn’t just a business for us.”

Guests mourned his loss on the hostel’s Facebook page.

“So heartbroken when we heard the tragic news,” Wendy Christie wrote. “My husband and I honeymooned at the Beach Cove Inn 12 years ago. Such a beautiful place and many wonderful and precious memories.”

It was the second major hotel fire this year in Maine. A fire in February at the Bluenose Inn in Bar Harbor caused more than $10 million in damage.

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Sandy A. Greer