One Dead Following Kittery, Maine, Hotel Fire, Officials Say

The building, valued at nearly $1.7 million, is a total loss

News Center Maine

Fire officials say one person has died as a result of a fire that destroyed a hotel in Kittery, Maine, on Wednesday.

Maine State Fire Marshal Rich McCarthy said at a press conference that fire investigators located one victim in what remained of the Days Inn hotel on the Route 1 Bypass around 2:15 p.m. Thursday. Their identity has yet to be confirmed.

The fire at the Days Inn was reported shortly after noon Wednesday. When firefighters arrived several minutes later, Kittery Fire Chief David O'Brien said the fire was already "heavily involved."

"It was a very difficult fire, it was a challenging fire," he said at Thursday's press conference. "We had 30 knot winds. That fire was fanned by the winds. It had a very, very, very large start. The building is wood frame, with furniture -- lots of material to burn inside that building. It is a firefighter's nightmare, with individual rooms and hallways and everything else."

The building, valued at almost $1.7 million, was a total loss, fire officials said. The hotel did have fire alarms but did not have any sprinklers.

O'Brien said when they first arrived, firefighters tried to enter the building to search for occupants, but due to the heavy flames they were forced to back off and fight the blaze from outside. He said firefighters got 2-3 rooms away from the area where they believed guests might be before they were forced by the flames to retreat.

"I was extremely hesitant to send my firefighters into that building to make that primary search. They went into that building with no protection," he said.

Firefighters from about 16 area communities in Maine and New Hampshire were called in Wednesday to help extinguish the fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Contact Us