A landmark waterfront hotel in Ogunquit was destroyed Tuesday night by a wind-swept fire that quickly spread to an adjacent restaurant with rooms for rent upstairs.

The Blue Water Inn at 111 Beach St. was declared a “total loss” by Ogunquit Fire Chief Mark O’Brien, who spoke to reporters around 9:30 p.m. as firefighters continued to put out smoldering spots.

The seven-room bed and breakfast, which also had a restaurant and beach bar, was completely gutted by the fire that threw flames high into the air after it started around 6:30 p.m. The cause of the fire was unknown.

The fire spread to Huckleberry’s Restaurant and the Norseman Resort, which are in the same building at 115 Beach St. The roof was scorched, but the building appeared intact.

“It was a rapid-spreading fire. The winds were very high,” O’Brien said.

Firefighters couldn’t enter the Blue Water Inn because the spreading fire made it too dangerous, he said. They also were limited to fighting the fire from two sides because the hotel is on a peninsula.


The fire was the worst the chief could recall since the 1980s. He said one firefighter was taken to a hospital for observation after suffering from smoke inhalation.

Larry Littlefield, who has lived in Ogunquit for 18 years, looked on in disbelief, at Huckleberry’s in particular.

“I ate there this morning,” Littlefield said. “This is going to be a mess.”

Dan Cadorette of Ogunquit looked on from behind yellow caution tape as firefighters from at least a half-dozen towns continued to work.

“I saw the whole front of the building on fire,” Cadorette said, pointing to the smoldering Blue Water Inn.

O’Brien said firefighters managed to save a third adjacent building.


Fire trucks jammed the two-lane causeway road leading to the peninsula, flashing emergency lights, illuminating the scene after electricity to the area had been cut off, leaving about 500 people without power, according to Central Maine Power. Fire hoses stretched over the roads, causing many roadways in the area to be closed to traffic.

Max Clayton, who is from Ogunquit but now lives in Cape Neddick, parked his vehicle near the access road leading to the island peninsula when the fire first started, but found himself trapped hours later because fire trucks blocked his way home.

“The flames were wicked. The wind is really what did it. And with the piers below, it was like a … wood stove,” Clayton said.

Clayton said that he saw firefighters pumping water from the river as they fought the Blue Water Inn fire.

“It’s a landmark,” Clayton said. “It’s a shame really.”

The inn was the first building tourists saw as they drove over the causeway bridge, greeted by a “Welcome to Ogunquit” sign.


Police closed Route 1 in Ogunquit Center in both the northbound and southbound lanes until about 10 p.m. Police also closed Beach Street, River Road and Shore Road.

The Blue Water Inn opened as a bed and breakfast in the 1970s. It was closed for the season when the fire broke out. Saturday has been the day it was to reopen.

The Ogunquit assessor’s office lists the Blue Water Inn’s owner as Leona LaPierre. The assessed value of the building is listed at nearly $1 million.

Staff Writer Noel Gallagher contributed to this report from Ogunquit.

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