Blaze destroys historic Egremont Inn

By Shana Wickett
Globe Correspondent / December 12, 2009

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A historic inn in the Berkshires, dating back more than 200 years, was destroyed in a five-alarm fire early yesterday.

“It is a tremendous loss for the community of Egremont and will have an economic impact on southern Berkshire County,’’ State Fire Marshal Steve Coan said of the Egremont Inn, which was on the National Register of Historic Places.

The blaze broke out about 5 a.m. By the time firefighters arrived, the three-story, wood-frame building was consumed by flames.

“There was heavy fire showing when firefighters arrived, and flames were shooting out the windows,’’ said Coan.

Fire departments from across south Berkshire County, as well as New York and Connecticut, responded. It took several hours to bring the fire under control.

Coan said one firefighter suffered a minor injury. He said the building was a total loss.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal’s office and local police.

Coan said the inn was only open for dinner this time of the season and had no overnight guests.

Selectman Richard Burdsall said the historic inn had been around since before the American Revolution. He said the inn’s destruction would have “a significant impact on the town because it was a very congenial gathering place for locals and tourists who were repeat guests and came back for vacation. It’s a heartfelt loss for all of us who live here.’’

The inn was established in 1780 by Francis Haere, an Irishman who fought in the Revolution, according to the inn’s website. Near the old Albany-Hartford Turnpike, Haere built a tavern that became the inn, the website said.