The iconic and beloved Quamichan Inn was destroyed by a fire that started late on Friday and raged into Saturday morning.
The restaurant and bed & breakfast in century-old mansion on Maple Bay Road succumbed to the blaze that was reported shortly after 11 p.m. The fire spread so quickly that there was no chance of saving the structure.
“Upon our arrival, there was a fire on the roof, and within minutes the entire roof was involved,” Maple Bay Fire Department Deputy Chief Kelly Paddle said. “Due to how fast it was spreading and structural collapse, it became an exterior attack. There was no possibility of saving it, unfortunately.”
Firefighter safety was a concern, Paddle said, as was water supply, which was why the South End hall was called out for mutual aid. All in all, four Maple Bay trucks, four South End trucks and about 40 firefighters were on scene.
The blaze was out by 6 a.m., but firefighters were back on scene Saturday to deal with hot spots.
The fire was so thorough that it will be difficult to ascertain the cause
“We had to demolish so much of the structure to put the fire out that the investigation will be a challenge,” Paddle said.
Paddle had spoken to one of the owners of the well-known establishment, but wasn’t sure what their long-term plans were.
“It’s a bit of a shock,” he said. “Him and his wife were in a bit of disbelief. They had put their heart and soul into it.”
Paddle will be among those who will miss the Quamichan Inn.
“I’ve eaten here a few times,” he said. “It was very luxurious; they had great meals. I’m going to miss this place.”