Editor's note: This article was last updated at 12:26 p.m. Dec. 23, 2019, with the latest information and another photograph.

BEAUFORT — Crews spent the better part of the day Sunday fighting a fire at The Spouter Inn Restaurant & Bakery on Front Street that resulted in a total loss of the building.

Two other businesses, Sweet Lilly Ru and Tidal Treasures Gift Shop, as well as four upstairs apartments were lost in addition to the popular restaurant, Beaufort Public Information Officer Rachel Johnson said Sunday evening. The building is on the waterfront side of the 200 block of Front Street in downtown Beaufort.

The fire was initially reported shortly after 5 a.m. Sunday when someone on the water spotted smoke and flames coming from the rear of the restaurant. Seven people inside the building at the time were evacuated safely with no reported injuries.

Ms. Johnson said two firefighters sustained minor injuries while fighting the blaze.

Crews had mostly contained the fire by Sunday afternoon but worked through the night into Monday morning to monitor hot spots. A section of Front Street between about Orange and Moore streets was closed while crews worked, but reopened Monday after the scene was cleared.

Ms. Johnson described the damage to the building as extensive and said it is likely totally destroyed. The roof apparently caved in and the rear of the building fared worse than the front half did.

Once Beaufort crews finished fighting the fire, they turned over the scene to the County Fire Marshal Eddie Lewis, who is investigating the cause, which was still unknown as of presstime.

Around 50 firefighters from multiple agencies were on the scene at its peak, and firefighting watercraft also assisted. 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, Stacy Fire Department, Pine Knoll Shores Fire and EMS and the Atlantic Beach Fire Department were among those on scene. Beaufort police and EMS also assisted.  

In addition, TowBoat U.S. responded with watercraft and a U.S. Coast Guard boat helped collect debris that fell from the burning building into the water.

“We are tremendously thankful for all of the support from all of the different agencies that came out today,” Ms. Johnson said.

The blaze drew a crowd of spectators that watched from behind police tape throughout the day Sunday. As firefighters knocked back flames around 10 a.m., many said they were coming back from church or grabbing a morning coffee when they saw the commotion and decided to check it out.

“This is just heartbreaking,” one spectator said.

The Spouter Inn Restaurant & Bakery has been open for more than 30 years and was a popular waterfront dining spot, according to the business’ website.

Reporter’s note: This story may have been updated online since presstime. For the latest information, visit carolinacoastonline.com.

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

(Previous report)

BEAUFORT — Officials say a fire that broke out Sunday morning at The Spouter Inn Restaurant & Bakery was mostly contained by late morning, but crews would likely remain on the scene for most of the day and possibly into the night to fully knock down the blaze. 

Beaufort Public Information Officer Rachel Johnson said crews were called to the Front Street business shortly after 5 a.m. when someone spotted flames from the waterfront side of the restaurant. She said four upstairs apartments were evacuated, and seven people inside the building at the time escaped with no injuries reported. 

Ms. Johnson said damage to the building is severe, likely a total loss. Two other businesses in addition to The Spouter Inn, Sweet Lilly Ru and Tidal Treasures Gift Shop, were also involved in the blaze. 

Law enforcement blocked Front Street from roughly Turner Street to Moore Street to set up a staging area and allow crews to work Sunday morning. Ms. Johnson said the town asks people to stay away from the area Sunday while crews continue to fully contain the fire.

Around 50 firefighters from multiple agencies were on the scene at its peak, Ms. Johnson said, and firefighting watercraft also assisted. 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, Stacy Fire Department, Pine Knoll Shores Fire and EMS and the Atlantic Beach Fire Department were among those on scene.

This is a developing report.

(previous report)

BEAUFORT — The Spouter Inn Restaurant & Bakery, a waterfront restaurant in Beaufort, was severely damaged by a fire early Sunday.

No injuries have been reported in connection to the fire. 

Emergency crews from multiple departments responded to call just after 5 a.m. Crews remain on scene as of 9:30 trying to get the blaze knocked out.

Front Street is blocked from roughly the intersection with Turner Street while crews work.

Crews from the Beaufort Fire Department, Morehead City Fire and EMS, the North River Fire Department, Otway Fire and Rescue, Broad & Gales Creek Rescue Squad, Pine Knoll Shores Fire and EMS and the Atlantic Beach Fire Department were among those on scene.

This is a developing report.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, anti-Semitism, or personal/abusive/condescending attacks on other users or goading them. The same applies to trolling, the use of multiple aliases, or just generally being a jerk. Enforcement of this policy is at the sole discretion of the site administrators and repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without warning.