A fire at The Brunswick Inn on Park Row in Brunswick Monday afternoon was found to be accidental, caused by electrical components on the second floor. Darcie Moore / The Times Record

A Monday fire at The Brunswick Inn that displaced six Bowdoin College students was accidental, according to Brunswick Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Emerson.

“We believe it was started by some electrical components on the second floor,” Emerson said Tuesday. “The exact cause remains undetermined.”

Emerson said the main building at 165 Park Row is uninhabitable until repairs are made. The fire department will work with the owner to try to isolate areas of the building that were unaffected by the fire to try to get them back in operation as soon as possible.

The fire was contained to a single upstairs room. However, Emerson said other areas of the building were damaged by heat and smoke, particularly on the second floor.

The Brunswick Inn is owned by Hornor Holdings LLC, in care of Eileen Hornor, according to Brunswick’s online assessing database. The property is assessed at $1 million.

Built in 1848, the federal-style Brunswick Inn is for sale through Swan Agency Real Estate for $3.6 million.


According to its website, The Brunswick Inn offers 16 guest rooms and suites. The main house was closed to the public because the inn was housing Bowdoin College students through May.

There was a Bowdoin College student staying in the guestroom where the fire broke out, Brillant said, but the student was not in the room at the time.

The fire displaced six first-year Bowdoin College students who have found other living arrangements, according to Scott Hood, a spokesperson for the college. He said none of the students took the college up on its offer of temporary housing after the fire.

According to Hood, the students were staying at the inn during the spring semester, where they were learning remotely. Most first-year students are not allowed on campus this semester, although they were allowed on campus in the fall.

“We are very sorry about this fire,” Hood said in an email response when asked whether the college could be liable regarding the fire. “But … this was a private arrangement between the students and the inn that did not involve the college.”

A different group of more than 40 Bowdoin College students is living at the Brunswick Hotel and Tavern on Noble Street as part of an agreement between the college and hotel, Hood said. The hotel ceased its operations to allow Bowdoin College students to safely return to campus, according to its website. “Use of the hotel has allowed us to provide single bedrooms to all students who are part of our COVID-19 testing program and who have on-campus privileges,” Hood said.

According to Hood, those without on-campus privileges — including those who were staying at the Brunswick Inn — are not allowed to enter the campus. Bowdoin’s COVID protocols require students to undergo twice-weekly testing and maintain safe social distancing, among other rules.

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