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