Thursday, October 24, 2002

Little damage in Black Point Inn fire

Published in the Current

A small fire started in a light fixture in a corner of the laundry at the Black Point Inn, sending guests out the door and firefighters racing down to Prouts Neck just after 6 p.m. Tuesday evening.

The historic inn, which had a new sprinkler and alarm system installed throughout the building during a renovation four years ago, had about 45 guests, as well as 65 staff members, all of whom had to be evacuated, according to Scarborough Fire Chief Michael Thurlow.

Firefighters hooked up their hoses to feed the inn’s sprinkler system, which took care of most of the fire. Fire crews took care of the rest quickly.

Firefighters spent several hours on the scene after the fire was out, cleaning out burned areas to make sure the fire was completely extinguished, and clearing smoke from the building.

“It’s a big building and it takes a while to get the smoke out,” Thurlow said.

Guests and staff were kept out of the inn’s main building for a while, but were able to keep warm in some of the inn’s cottages and outbuildings, according to innkeeper Dick Schwalbenberg.

No one was in the laundry at the time of the fire, and no one was hurt in the evacuation or in fighting the fire. Damage to the building was not extensive, and Schwalbenberg said he expected the laundry to be back in service by the end of the day Wednesday.

The small size of the fire was a relief to Schwalbenberg and Thurlow.

“It’s the kind of building you worry about,” Thurlow said, referring to the
inn’s wood-frame structure.