Monday, December 27, 2004
The Christmas Day fire that heavily damaged parts of Westport’s Inn at Longshore was caused by an overheated basement steam pipe, Westport Fire Chief Denis McCarthy said today.
Meanwhile, the operator of the landmark building, Rory Tagert, said he hoped to reopen in time for a Thursday wedding. He said restoration of five damaged guest rooms in the 1920s structure owned by the town will take longer.
Preliminary investigation of the predawn blaze found that the likely cause was a hot steam pipe adjacent to a floor joist in the basement, McCarthy said.
Known as pyrolysis, this involves a longtime buildup of heat that causes charring or decomposition of surrounding material.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell addresses Westport’s Y’s Men last January. WestportNow.com photoGov. M. Jodi Rell has breast cancer and underwent surgery today at Danbury Hospital, her office announced.
It said the breast cancer was diagnosed last week after a routine mammogram.
Rell, 58, had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery performed and was recovering this evening after being in surgery for much of the afternoon, her office said. She is expected to be in the hospital for about three days, according to the announcement.
It said the cancer “was caught in its very early stages in fact, the cancer itself did not appear on the mammogram and was only discovered during a biopsy of a non-cancerous calcium deposit ֖ and tests have shown the disease has not spread.”
Rory Tagert, who has operated Westport’s town-owned Inn at Longshore for 20 years, today surveys the damage to a second floor guestroom of the landmark structure. He was in Germany when the Chrismas Day fire broke out and rushed back home to supervise the cleanup. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
It could take weeks to get the Inn at Longshore’s guestrooms ready for visitors, according to hotel operator Rory Tagert. He praised Westport and neighboring firefighters today for doing a “spectacular job” in saving the landmark building during Saturday’s Christmas Day fire. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Five guestrooms were damaged in Saturday’s Inn at Longshore fire. Operator Rory Tagert (back to camera) confers today in a damaged second floor room with Fire Department Inspector Ed Zygmant (r., partially hidden) and Mike Frawley, facilities supervisor for the Town of Westport, which owns the building. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
A contractor’s drying unit stands outside Westport’s Inn at Longshore today as workers cleaned up after Saturday’s Christmas morning fire damaged the landmark structure. Operator Rory Tagert said he hoped he could get the inn’s function rooms in shape in time for a scheduled wedding on Thursday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Large drying tubes snake through the lobby of Westport’s Inn at Longshore today after a Christmas morning fire damaged the main ballroom, the Splash restaurant kitchen area, and five guest rooms. The hotel’s operator said he hopes to have power restored to the building Tuesday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
The water is gone from the main ballroom at Westport’s Inn at Longshore and so is the dance floor which had to be pulled up after being soaked by water from the Christmas Day fire. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Firefighters had to rip out bathroom fixtures to get at Saturday’s Christmas Day Inn at Longshore fire which raced up interior ducts and void spaces from the basement to the third floor. This is a second floor bathroom today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Another view of the Inn at Longshore ballroom today as the drying out continued following Saturday’s Christmas Day fire. Cause of the fire has been traced to an overheated basement steam pipe, according to hotel operator Rory Tagert. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
State Department of Transportation trucks load up with sand at the DOT facility on Post Road East in Westport tonight before heading out to sand state roadways in the area. Several collisions were reported on I-95 in Westport as the snow began accumulating. Ron Malone for WestportNow.com
A Westport snow plow makes its way up Cedar Road tonight as forecasters predicted the Westport area would get from 2 to 5 inches before the snow tapers off Monday morning. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for WestportNow.com
Westport-based Save the Children said today it is moving quickly to assist children and families impacted by one of the world’s most devastating earthquakes that killed thousands of people in six countries in southern and southeastern Asia.
Triggered by an 8.9 magnitude earthquake—the most powerful in 40 years—huge waves of water swept across the Bay of Bengal today, wiping out villages and towns along a broad stretch of coastland near the Indian Ocean.
Save the Children is mobilizing a response to the areas hardest hit and already has begun to coordinate with local and international aid agencies to provide relief supplies including shelter and basic necessities for children and their families in Indonesia and Sri Lanka, the agency said.
“We are mobilizing response teams both within South Asia and around the world to meet the needs of children and their families affected by this terrible tragedy,” said Rudy Von Bernuth, who is coordinating Save the Children’s emergency response effort to the region.
Sunday, December 26, 2004
There were long lines in many Main Street Westport stores today as shoppers looked for day after Christmas bargains and made returns. This was the scene in Brooks Brothers. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Westport’s Main Street was crowded with shoppers today looking for after Christmas bargains and making returns. A dusting of snow added to the holiday feeling. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Helping with the entertainment at today’s Saugatuck Congregational Church Christmas Feast were Ernie Lentz, 84, of Monroe at the microphone backed by (l-r) Alan Abel, Bill Beyea, Milt Jacoby, and Jack Adams. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Saturday, December 25, 2004
Getting in a little Christmas dancing today at the Saugatuck Congregational Church were Jim Powers, 80, of Hamden, a professional dance instructor, and volunteer Nancy Daight, 48, of Weston. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Renee Spencer of Norwalk and her 2-year-old daughter Angie smile for Santa (aka Westport’s Larry Aasen) at today’s Christmas feast at the Saugatuck Congregational Church on Post Road East. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
More than 150 people turned out today for a Christmas Day feast at Westport’s Saugatuck Congregational Church on Post Road East. The church does a similar meal on Thanksgiving. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Fire damaged Westport’s well-known Inn at Longshore early today as well as a house at the corner of Lincoln Street and Post Road West. No one was injured in either Christmas morning blaze. The hotel was closed at the time, but a family pet died in the house fire, fire officials said.
Christmas wreaths mix with fire hoses at Westport’s Inn at Longshore. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Westport dispatched all its equipment, called in off-duty and volunteer firefighters, and requested mutual aid assistance for both fires, the first at 1:43 a.m. at 1 Lincoln St., and the second at 5:08 a.m. at Longshore.
The Longshore fire was the more difficult of the two. Fire Chief Denis McCarthy said the flames appeared to have spread upward from the first floor-basement area, reaching the third floor through interior walls and ducts.
“It was difficult to get at and therefore difficult to fight,” he said.
A Westport fire inspector surveys the exterior damage to the rear of the Inn at Longshore after today’s pre-dawn Christmas fire. Firefighters broke through exterior walls to get at the flames that spread to the upper floors from below. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
The bar and dining room area of the Splash Restaurant at the Inn at Longshore is covered in water today after a stubborn fire in some interior walls and ceilings set off the building’s sprinkler system. Fire Mashall Fred Baker said multiple renovations to the building’s interior made it difficult for firefighters to get to the fire. Cause of the blaze is under investigation. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Firefighters from Westport, Norwalk, Wilton and Trumbull take time for some hot coffee dispensed by the American Red Cross after today’s pre-dawn fire at Westport’s Inn at Longshore. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
It was tough to get access to the flames during today’s pre-dawn fire at the Inn at Longshore. The fire damaged interior walls and ceilings as it spread to the top floor from below. Westport’s ladder truck took up a position at the side of the building. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Westport needed help from Norwalk, Wilton, Fairfield and Trumbull today to tackle a stubborn fire at the Inn at Lonshore and to provide coverage for the rest of the town. The Longshore fire broke out at 5:08 a.m. while units were still cleaning up from a house fire several hours earlier at the corner of Lincoln Street and Post Road West. Trumbull’s Nichols Fire Department was called to provide on-scene refilling of air packs as Westport’s ready supply was quickly exhausted. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
It was after dawn when firefighters had today’s Christmas morning blaze under control at Westport’s Inn at Longshore. Fire Chief Denis McCarthy said it could be several days before the restaurant and function rooms in the building might be able to open while the guest rooms are likely to take longer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo