The landmark Wayfinder Hotel on Admiral Kalbfus Road, located in downtown Newport, Rhode Island, caught fire around 8 p.m. on Monday, May 23rd, 2022. Firefighters from ten surrounding cities and towns rushed to the scene following reports of heavy flames and smoke pouring from the building.
Firefighters say the heat detectors were on code red for quite some time before finally sounding four fire alarms. Deputy Chief Mark Riding from the Newport Fire Department says the building structure was a challenge, “This fire had been burning for a good amount of time before the alarm was called. We received no phone calls. Due to all the void spaces in the building between floors, we simply could not get the water to where it needed to go.”
A large part of the roof collapsed, and it took a total of 16 hours for firefighters to put out flames and hotspots due to the structure of the building, making it unsafe for firefighters to fight it from the inside. Most of the building, 220 rooms, have been claimed a total loss, with a smaller two-story portion of the building left unscathed. The cause of the fire continues to be under investigation.
The loss of these rooms in the Wayfinder will create a big impact on the tourism industry for this season. Over the last few years, it underwent several renovations after being transformed from a Best Western into the Wayfinder Hotel. It was just becoming a Newport tourism favorite as it was completely booked for weeks to come.
Annual property loss prevention inspections by Risk Logic could have prevented this loss. The inspections include a review of the adequacy of the fire protection system, inspection testing and maintenance (ITM) programs. Contact us for all your property loss prevention needs.