New Hampshire

Massive Fire Destroys Part of Popular Red Jacket Resort in North Conway, NH

The Red Jacket Mountain View Resort is a family retreat in the White Mountains and is home to Kahuna Laguna, a popular indoor water park

NBC Universal, Inc.

Firefighters from nearly 20 communities battled a massive fire at a popular vacation spot in North Conway, New Hampshire, on Saturday.

Conway police confirmed the blaze at the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort, located on White Mountain Highway. Investigators with the New Hampshire State Fire Marshal’s Office responded to the scene and are investigating.

According to the fire marshal's office, the Department of Safety’s Division of Emergency Services and Communications received a 911 call reporting the fire at 2:47 p.m.

The first crews on scene encountered heavy fire and smoke pouring from the third floor in the south wing of the building where guests were evacuating.

At one point, some guests could be seen jumping from upper-level to lower-level balconies before safely escaping at the ground level, the fire marshal's office said. There have been no reports of any guests unaccounted for.

Two firefighters and one other person were injured, according to the fire marshal's office. They were treated on scene for non-life threatening injuries and taken to Memorial Hospital as a precaution.

Strong wind gusts made this a challenging fire for crews. The North Conway Fire Department requested assistance from numerous surrounding communities, including: Conway, Center Conway, East Conway, Redstone, Bartlett, Jackson, Madison, Tamworth, Ossipee, Center Ossipee, Moultonborough, Center Harbor, Sandwich, Milton, Wolfeboro, Shelburne, Effingham, and Wakefield.  

Route 16 was closed in the area, but it has since reopened. Although traffic is flowing in both directions, residents and visitors are still being asked to avoid the area if possible.

The North Conway Firefighters Association reiterated that, asking people to please steer clear of the resort to accommodate the on-scene response.

Photos: Massive Fire Burning at Popular Red Jacket Resort in North Conway, NH

The resort confirmed in a statement to NBC10 Boston and NECN that a fire broke out on the property Saturday afternoon, noting that the North Conway Fire Department and area partners are working to extinguish the flames.

"Guest safety remains our utmost focus as we continue to work closely with emergency responders," a spokesperson for the resort told NBC10 Boston and NECN.

Those who were staying at the Red Jacket have been offered hospitality at another nearby resort.

Aerial footage from NBC10 Boston’s SkyRanger helicopter and videos posted on Twitter showed flames shooting through the building's roof, and thick black smoke could be seen billowing into the sky from miles away.

Emergency sirens could also be heard in the background, and people could be seen standing on a grassy hill watching the fire burn.

A woman who lives two doors down from the inn told NBC10 Boston and NECN that she saw people outside crying with their kids.

"It's just devastating. I mean, so sad," Linda Barbic, a bed and breakfast owner in the area, said. "It's just roaring in flames. It's just horrific. The east end of the building of the Red Jacket, it looks like fire departments came from all towns, everywhere, and they're trying to contain it, so it doesn't hit the main building, but it's sad, it doesn't look like that's gonna be possible."

"I mean, it's up in flames. It's horrific. It's devastating," she reiterated. "I just have the chills. I just feel so sad. The flames are coming out of the windows, and the roofs are caving in. It's just horrible. It's a horrible sight."

There appears to be heavy damage to at least part of the hotel, with some hotel rooms completely charred from the outside.

The resort is a family retreat in New Hampshire's White Mountains and is home to Kahuna Laguna, an indoor water park that has been named among the top 10 indoor water parks in the U.S. It was not immediately clear if the water park was impacted by the fire.

This weekend marks the final days of school vacation week in the Granite State.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Office of the State Fire Marshal at 603-223-4289. An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

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