Videos: Off-duty captain helps guests escape fire that destroys historic Mass. hotel

Nantucket Captain Nate Barber and another firefighter were hospitalized with smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion, and a third suffered a back injury


Joseph Wilkinson
New York Daily News

NANTUCKET, Mass. — A Nantucket hotel first built in the 1600s was destroyed in a massive fire Saturday morning.

The Veranda House, an upscale bed and breakfast in downtown Nantucket, caught fire before 7 a.m., the Nantucket Current reported.

No one died in the disaster thanks to the heroic work of local firefighters. The cause of the fire remains unclear.

“An off-duty captain and several civilians ran to the location upon hearing of the fire and assisted in removing guests from the hotel,” the Nantucket Fire Department said in a Facebook post. “The captain and others entered into dangerous conditions without protective equipment to (ensure) everyone got out of the building.”

Captain Nate Barber was getting coffee nearby when he saw smoke coming out of the building, according to the Current. Barber ran to the scene and later explained the rescue to the paper.

“I got into the hallway, it was pitch-black smoke, and there was a couple there yelling for help,” he said. “I grabbed them, took them out the window to another side of the building and onto a roof. Miraculously there was a guy there with a ladder, I think it was a neighbor, and we took the people down the ladder.”

Barber and another firefighter were hospitalized with smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion; a third suffered a back injury, the Current reported. All guests made it out safely.

Two neighboring homes were also damaged in the blaze. Fire crews from across the island came to help douse the flames.

The Veranda House was first built in the 1600s. It was converted into a bed and breakfast in 1881 and became a go-to stay for rich visitors to the island.

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©2022 New York Daily News.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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