EGREMONT -- An overnight fire destroyed an historic, 229-year-old inn in South Egremont.
Built in 1780, The Egremont Inn on Sheffield Road was considered a town treasure. Its third floor collapsed and the first and second floors sustained heavy fire damage, according to Bruce Cumsky, a town selectman. More than 80 firefighters from nine companies around the Berkshires and New York state fought the fire. No one was injured.
It was not immediately known what caused the fire. No one was staying at the inn, and the building was not staffed overnight, Cumsky said.
The temperature -- in the low teens -- was the coldest this season. The inn was left frozen in ice, and the remaining firefighters on the scene also appeared cold and uncomfortable, according to an eyewitness at the scene.
The fire was reported at 4:55 a.m., and the first responders arrived to find the inn fully engulfed in flames, according to Cumsky. The fire has been extinguished.
"This is a great loss for our community and we are all saddened, not only for the loss of such a beautiful and historic structure, but for the many lives this loss will affect. Our hearts certainly go out to them," Cumsky said.
Owners Robert and Marie Johnson bought the Egremont Inn last year.
The inn was built by Francis Haere, a veteran of the American Revolution. The building served as a muster area and hospital during the Revolution and Civil War. It was also one mile from the last battle of Shays Rebellion, the 1780 clash between farmers and merchants that rattled the strength of the republic in the nation's early years and factored in the formation of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.