Hampton Beach Surf Hotel Fire Fueled by Winds Destroys 5 Buildings

by William ASTON on March 1, 2010

Late last week, a fire was started at Surf Hotel, a Hampton oceanfront hotel that has been unoccupied. However, this fire was spread to many nearby buildings due to hurricane-force winds. The fires engulfed and destroyed a whole block of businesses, but according to officials, no one was injured.

Hampton Fire Captain David Lang said that the blaze started late Thursday/early Friday at the 3-story hotel. The 5 wood-frame buildings on the block quickly caught fire. Included on the block was a storage facility, a gift shop and apartments building, as well as an arcade.

Hampton, New Hampshire is located along the Atlantic coast and is densely populated. Many of the businesses in the area are only open over the summer, so no one was in any of the burned buildings. There were, however, about a dozen people evacuated from their nearby homes as a precaution.

The fire department’s resources had already been stretched due to the bad weather, as teams and equipment were sent to handle numerous weather-related emergencies before the hotel fire was reported just after midnight on Friday. The fire started while the area was coping with heavy rain and snow, as well as strong winds, which all cut off power for over 1 million businesses and homes across the region. The strongest recorded wind during the storm was 91mph, which is much stronger than the 74mph winds felt from past hurricanes.

Chris Silver, the Hampton Fire Chief, said that the fire is thought to have started on the first floor, but they are still investigating the cause, while criminal intent isn’t suspected. He added that some fire crews from Massachusetts and Maine helped keep the fire from spreading.

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