Updated Sunday at noon: Huge fire at historic Nantucket hotel draws response from Cape Cod firefighters, blaze not considered suspicious

Town of Nantucket/CWN

Yarmouth Fire photo as their ferry approached Nantucket

NANTUCKET – A massive fire tore through the historic Veranda House Hotel at 3 Step Lane on Nantucket Saturday morning. Two other structures were also heavily damaged in the blaze. No civilian injuries were reported but three firefighters were transported to the hospital but are expected to be okay. Under a mutual aid agreement a number of firefighters and apparatus from Cape Cod were ferrying to the island to assist Nantucket firefighters. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Nantucket Fire statement: “At approximately 6:46 AM, a report was received through 911 of a building fire in the area of North Water and Step Lane in the downtown core district of the island. Concurrent reports identified the fire location as the Veranda House Hotel at 3 Step Lane. Deparment on duty personnel responded with an engine (4 FF/EMTs) and recall members responded with further equipment of two additional engines, ladder truck and deputy chief. An ambulance (1 FF/EMT) also responded to the scene to stand by. An off duty Captain and several civilians ran to the location upon hearing of the fire and assisted in removing guests from the hotel. The Captain and others entered into dangerous conditions without protective equipment to assure everyone got out of the building. The Captain was directed by a guest to a room that possibly had an occupant but found it empty, but did find two others in the hallway that he assisted to safely. He attempted to search further but was driven back by the intense heat and smoke. The actions of the citizens and the Captain saved lives.

Arrival of the engine found heavy fire on the east side of the building across all three floor of the hotel. The engine crew proceeded to ensure the hotel had been evacuated and simultaneously worked to start extinguishing the fire. All patrons of the hotel were reported evacuated on arrival and heavy fire conditions in the hotel on arrival of the first engine did not allow for firefighter entry. As additional firefighters and equipment arrived on scene hoselines were put out in place to contain the fire to the involved building which was closely adjacent to the neighboring homes. Several handlines and large master stream hoselines were deployed in attempts to contain the fire. Due to the proximity of several buildings the fire did spread to other buildings. Extensive fire developed in at least two of the buildings. The spread of the fire caused redeployment and repositioning of personnel on scene to address the large area involved.

Firefighters from Cape Cod departments were requested to assist, including Hyannis, Yarmouth and Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills (COMM) FDs who sent 4 members each. These Cape firefighters responded with assistance of the Steamship Authority and Hy-Line high speed ferries. Hyannis firefighters arrived as 9:30 AM, and Yarmouth and COMM arrived at 10:40 AM. Further Cape departments will be sending firefighters in relief of the current firefighters in place. A total of 17 Nantucket Fire Department personnel responded.

The Fire was unable to be contained to the building involved and spread to several surrounding buildings. Damage to the structures involved is extensive with several of the buildings being total losses. Estimated cost of damage and property from the total loss from the fire is unknown at this time.

Fire department personnel are still on scene and expected to be so for an extended period. This will be a long term operation. The Nantucket Police Department is assisting as well as the State Fire Marshal’s office.

No injuries have been reported at this time to civilians but two firefighters were transported for possible heat exhaustion and a third for a back injury. Emergency services on scene did assure everyone was accounted for from the hotel.”

Second Nantucket Fire statement: During the incident, Massachusetts State Police Troopers assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office responded to the scene. In cooperation with the Nantucket Police Department an investigation was started into the cause of the fire. At this time the cause of the fire is not believed to be intentional. Further information on the investigation is unavailable at this time.

The Veranda  House is a 7,463 square foot food construction building to be used as an inn. The Nantucket Fire Department Fire Prevention Officer last performed a walk through inspection with the property representatives on April 12th, 2022. The property had a functioning alarm system and proper fire extinguishers. There was no sprinkler system in the building and one was not required by law when constructed.The alarm was received by the property’s monitoring company and simultaneously with multiple 911 calls to the emergency communication center.

Condition of FFs seen at Hospital: A fourth Nantucket firefighter was transported in the afternoon for possible heat related injury. Of the four firefighters seen at the hospital, three were released that day with one being monitored overnight and released from the hospital on Sunday.

Firefighters from Cape Cod departments that responded to assist included Hyannis, Yarmouth, Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills, Sandwich, Dennis and Harwich. The additional firefighters sent by Cape departments made a tremendous impact on the operations and safety of our members in very warm conditions. The Town & Department recognize and appreciate the response to our call on a busy and hot summer day.

The fire did extend to two buildings close to the original fire building. Damage to all the structures involved is extensive with all the buildings involved being total losses. There is no estimated cost of damage at this time.

The majority of fire was out at 8 PM with fire department personnel on scene through the night and Sunday monitoring for hot spots and possible rekindles. Equipment is being brought in to make the area safe and fall unstable portions of the original fire building that remain.

There are no further injuries to report at this time to civilians or  firefighters.

Fire Chief Stephen A. Murphy would like to further state the heroic efforts of several community  members including Patrick Marks, Jim McIntosh and off duty Captain Nathan Barber (and I am sure I may be missing names) who saved lives on Saturday. They all entered into life-threatening conditions in order to warn, rescue and remove people within the building. Their bravery will not go unnoticed. Also the dedication and resolve of the town’s firefighters to respond from home and combat this large scale fire is not unusual but will again be recognized. Lastly, to all the outpouring of water, Gatorade, food and thoughts from the community, the department members THANK YOU.

Veranda House statement: On July 9th, The Veranda House experienced a major onsite fire. The Veranda House team is deeply grateful to the Nantucket Fire Department and first responders for their quick action taken during this incident. With the support of all the first responders, and our local community members, we can confirm that all employees and guests are safely evacuated.

Dramatic video of the fire courtesy of Leo Haughton:

na070922 Veranda Hotel blaze from Cape Wide News LLC on Vimeo.

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy