UPDATE: State and local police have begun an investigation into the cause of the fire on Saturday at Veranda House, according to Nantucket Fire Chief Stephen Murphy on Sunday. The fire was likely not intentionally set, Murphy said. The inn and two nearby buildings were total losses in the blaze. A total estimate of damage has not been made. A fourth firefighter was taken to the hospital on Saturday; all four were released as of Sunday. There were no injuries to individuals in the three buildings.
NANTUCKET — An early morning fire on Saturday destroyed downtown landmark Veranda House on Step Lane as dozens of firefighters and members of the public rushed to evacuate the building, fire officials said.
The fire department was alerted to the blaze by a 911 call at 6:46 a.m., according to a press release from the department.
When fire crews arrived, they found heavy fire on all three floors on the east side of the building. An off-duty captain and civilians rushed into the building to rouse guests. There were no injuries to civilians.
Two neighboring buildings were heavily damaged by fire. Fighting the fire were 17 Nantucket Fire personnel, four Hyannis firefighters, four Yarmouth firefighters, and four COMM firefighters, who arrived by ferry.
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Damage to the Veranda House Hotel and surrounding buildings is extensive, with some being total losses, the department said.
The property was bought by Nathan Chapman in 1881, according to the Nantucket Historical Association. Chapman converted the property to a boarding house. It changed many hands, and was bought by Tom and Jo Devine in 1946, who renovated it.
In a posting on its Facebook page, the Veranda House told the public about the fire and thanked first-responders.
The post read: Today, July 9th, The Veranda House experienced a major onsite fire. With the support of all the first responders, and our local community members, we can confirm that all employees and guests are safely evacuated and accounted for. The safety and security of our guests, team, and community is our top priority and we will continue to work closely with emergency responders and safety authorities. The Veranda House team is deeply grateful to the Nantucket Fire Department and first responders for their quick action taken during this incident. We will share additional updates as soon as we have them.