Massive blaze damages newly renovated Newport hotel

Onlookers gather to watch firefighters battle a multi-alarm blaze that damaged the Wayfinder Hotel in Newport May 23, 2022 in a photo supplied by a WPRO listener

NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Three firefighters were injured battling a major fire at a recently renovated hotel in Newport, Rhode Island, fire officials said.

The fire at the Wayfinder Hotel was reported at about 8 p.m. Monday and crews remained on the scene on Tuesday morning.

Nearly 100 firefighters from multiple municipalities responded to the blaze and all guests made it out safely, fire Chief Harp Donnelly IV told The Newport Daily News. The Red Cross responded to assist displaced guests find new accommodations.

The cause remains under investigation.

The four-story hotel has nearly 200 guest rooms, according it its website.

The injured firefighters are expected to recover, Deputy Chief Mark Riding said at the scene Tuesday.

“We had one firefighter go through the floor. He was rescued by the crew that was with him. We don’t know if it was from the heat or the water weight that was causing collapses. As soon as the firefighter went through the floor all companies were pulled out,” he said.

Hotel ownership in a statement said they were “deeply grateful” for the efforts of firefighters.

“With the support of all the first responders and our local community members, we can confirm that all employees and guests were safely evacuated,” said Phil Hospod, CEO and founder of Dovetail+Co, which owns the Wayfinder. “At this time, we are solely focused on the wellbeing of our guests and employees.”

The hotel reopened in the summer of 2020 after a $16 million renovation project.