Spouter Inn

Fire tape blocks off the entrance to The Spouter Inn Restaurant & Bakery on Front Street in Beaufort Friday after a fire Dec. 22 severely damaged the building. Officials said Friday they do not suspect foul play. (Elise Clouser photo)

BEAUFORT — Investigators do not suspect foul play in a fire that destroyed several downtown businesses and apartments Dec. 22.

According to a Friday release from County Fire Marshal Eddie Lewis, the fire that broke out at The Spouter Inn Restaurant & Bakery, at 218 Front St., resulted in a total loss of the building. Two other businesses, Tidal Treasures and Sweet Lilly Ru, as well as two downstairs apartments and four upstairs apartments that were home to eight residents, also occupied the building and are a total loss.  

The fire was reported just after 5 a.m. Dec. 22 when someone spotted flames coming from the rear of the building, Beaufort Public Information Officer Rachel Johnson previously told the News-Times. She said seven people inside the building at the time were evacuated with no reported injuries.

Two firefighters who responded to the blaze sustained minor injuries, Ms. Johnson said.

Crews from 12 agencies, with the Beaufort Fire Department directing, spent hours fighting back flames, and firefighters remained on the scene to monitor hot spots for days after. A portion of Front Street from about Moore to Orange streets was closed for more than a day, though residents of those streets were still able to access their homes.

Mr. Lewis said fire marshals were able to enter the building Dec. 22 and identified and documented the fire’s area of origin. Fire marshals also returned to document the origin area once the smoke was suppressed.

The county fire marshal’s office said Friday it is awaiting insurance company investigators and adjusters to visit the scene before disclosing its finding to the public. Mr. Lewis said there is no foul play suspected at this time.

He said because a portion of the roof collapsed in the fire, the building will have to be removed, and investigators will learn more about the fire once the structure is torn down.

Crews from the Beaufort Fire Department, Morehead City Fire and EMS, the Newport Fire Department, the North River Fire Department, Otway Fire and Rescue, Broad & Gales Creek Rescue Squad, Harkers Island Fire and Rescue, the Stacy Fire Department, Pine Knoll Shores Fire and EMS and the Atlantic Beach Fire Department were among those who responded, and Beaufort police and EMS were also on scene.  

Firefighting watercraft from Beaufort and Morehead City also assisted in fighting the flames. The U.S. Coast Guard was on scene primarily to collect debris that fell from the burning building into the water, and TowBoat U.S. also responded with watercraft.

In addition, the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army provided food and drinks for emergency personnel on the scene the day of the blaze, and the organizations are assisting those displaced by the fire. Mr. Lewis said local businesses and residents also supplied food to emergency personnel.

Carteret County tax records show the building was built in 1950 and measures 7,855 square feet. The Spouter Inn Restaurant & Bakery had been open more than 40 years and was one of the Beaufort waterfront’s oldest restaurants.

Contact Elise Clouser at elise@thenewstimes.com; by phone at 252-726-7081 ext. 230; or follow on Twitter @eliseccnt.

(Previous report)

BEAUFORT — Investigators do not suspect foul play in a fire that destroyed several downtown businesses and apartments Dec. 22.

According to a Friday media release from County Fire Marshal Eddie Lewis, the fire that broke out just after 5 a.m. at The Spouter Inn Restaurant & Bakery, at 218 Front St., resulted in a total loss of the building. In addition to The Spouter Inn, the building contained two other businesses, Tidal Treasures and Sweet Lilly Ru, as well as two downstairs apartments and four upstairs apartments that were home to eight residents.

Officials have previously stated all the individuals inside the building at the time of the blaze were safely evacuated with no reported injuries.

Mr. Lewis said fire marshals were able to enter the building late Sunday afternoon and identified and documented the fire’s area of origin. They also returned to document the area of origin once the smoke was suppressed.

As of Friday, the county fire marshal’s office is awaiting insurance company investigators and adjusters to visit the scene before disclosing its findings to the public. Mr. Lewis said there is no foul play suspected at this time.

At the time of the fire, 12 agencies worked to contain and suppress the fire under the direction of the Beaufort Fire Department.

The American Red Cross and The Salvation Army in Morehead City assisted displaced residents and provided assistance, including food and drinks, to emergency personnel working the fire. Local businesses and residents also supplied food to emergency personnel.

Carteret County tax records show the building was built in 1950 and measures 7,855 square feet. Based on the fact the roof collapsed, the building will have to be removed.

Mr. Lewis said once the structure is removed, investigators will learn more about the fire.

 

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