Massive fire damages newly renovated hotel in Rhode Island

Firefighters battle a blaze at a newly renovated hotel in Newport, RI on Monday. Three firefighters were injured battling the Wayfinder Hotel fire. Scott Barrett/The Newport Daily News via Associated Press

NEWPORT, RI — Three firefighters have been injured in a major blaze at a newly renovated hotel in Newport, Rhode Island, fire officials said.

The Wayfinder Hotel fire was reported around 8 p.m. Monday and crews remained at the scene Tuesday morning.

Nearly 100 firefighters from multiple municipalities responded to the blaze and all guests made it out safe and sound, Fire Chief Harp Donnelly IV told the Newport Daily News. The Red Cross responded to help displaced guests find new accommodation.

The cause remains under investigation.

The four-story hotel has nearly 200 rooms, according to its website.

Injured firefighters are expected to recover, Deputy Chief Mark Riding said at the scene Tuesday.

“We got a firefighter through the floor. He was rescued by the crew accompanying him. We don’t know if it was because of the heat or the weight of the water that was causing the collapses,” he said. “As soon as the firefighter crossed the ground, all companies were taken out.”

The hotel owners said in a statement they were “deeply grateful” for the firefighters’ efforts.

“With the support of all first responders and members of our local community, we can confirm that all employees and guests have been safely evacuated,” said Phil Hospod, CEO and Founder of Dovetail+Co, owner of the Wayfinder. . “At the moment, we are only focusing on the well-being of our customers and employees.”

The hotel reopened in the summer of 2020 after a $16 million renovation project.

Elsewhere in New England, the Beach Cove Waterfront Inn in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, was destroyed by fire Monday night. The state fire marshal’s office is investigating.

The fire chief said no one was injured.

The owners were at the inn, which was to open Memorial Day weekend.

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Sandy A. Greer