One person found dead after destructive fire at Kittery hotel

Fire at the Days Inn in Kittery
Fire at the Days Inn in Kittery(York Beach Fire and Rescue)
Published: May. 18, 2023 at 3:57 PM EDT
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KITTERY, Maine (WMTW) - Officials confirm there is one victim after a destructive fire at a hotel in Kittery Wednesday afternoon.

The announcement was made during a press conference. According to officials, the person was found around 2:15 p.m. Thursday afternoon and has not been identified.

“It was in the area of the biggest burn of the building. It was the area my firefighters were trying to make an attempt to get to the first three or four minutes of the fire,” Kittery Fire Chief David O’Brien “It was totally destroyed in that area.”

Investigators from the state fire marshal’s office started processing the scene of the fire that destroyed the Days Inn in Kittery Thursday.

An excavator had been brought to the scene to help firefighters reach hot spots within the debris of the hotel. The fire broke out just after noon on Wednesday and crews were still on scene Thursday morning pouring water on what was left of the hotel.

Firefighters said one of their major concerns was the side of the building closest to the trees.

The view from above showed nearly the entire roof burned away and several parts of the building had collapsed.

O’Brien said Wednesday afternoon that one or two people were unaccounted for. The owner of the hotel had said Wednesday that everyone was out of the building.

Officials say many of the guests were staying at the hotel for extended periods.

O’Brien said the building was valued at more than $1.6 million but was a total loss. He said there was no fire suppression system in the building but that alarms were going off when firefighters arrived.

The fire did spread to several nearby buildings and also sparked several brush and wood fires both next to the hotel and several streets away.

Town officials say the building had a number of fire code violations in 2018 and 2019 that have since been resolved. They were not aware of any structural or electrical issues at the time of the fire.

The owners had submitted plans on May 5 to demolish the building and replace it with a new hotel and were scheduled to go before the town council for review in the coming weeks.