Off-duty firefighter who clashed with Nantucket Hotel fire credits team effort – Boston 25 News

‘Miracle’: Off-duty firefighter who encountered fire at Nantucket hotel credits team effort

NANTUCKET, Mass. – The state fire marshal was on the scene in Nantucket on Sunday to investigate the cause of a massive fire that destroyed the historic Veranda House Hotel over the weekend.

So far, investigators say they don’t believe the fire was started intentionally.

The Nantucket Fire Department said the building was last inspected on April 12, 2022, and there were working alarms, but there was no sprinkler system in the building. The fire department said sprinklers were not required by code when the hotel was built.

The Nantucket Fire Department says that thanks to a few heroes, lives have been saved.

One of those heroes was off-duty fire captain Nate Barber, who was just released from hospital on Sunday afternoon after being treated for smoke inhalation.

“I was with my wife and we were having a cup of coffee,” Captain Barber said.

Captain Barber was off Saturday morning having coffee in downtown Nantucket when he saw a huge plume of smoke.

Barber says he started running towards the fire and saw the historic Veranda House Hotel was already engulfed in flames.

With no equipment, he ran inside after a man told him his son was still there.

“I went up the stairs and it was just unbearable, it was you know, smoke, really thick, no visibility,” Captain Barber said.

Barber says the man’s son must have made it on his own since he wasn’t there.

Then he saw a couple screaming for help in the smoke-filled hallway.

“I did a quick search and screamed, screamed for more people and didn’t hear anyone,” Barber said. “So I went out the window with them, and just by a fluke, God’s will anyway, there was actually a ladder that the neighbor was using because he had just made a roof on his house.”

Captain Barber says a man secured the neighbour’s ladder to help him down while the roof was still on fire.

Afterwards, Barber and this man returned to the hotel to check all three floors as firefighters arrived on the scene.

“The Nantucket Fire Department is a small fire department with limited resources, and they put out a giant fire and they saved a lot of people and a lot of property, Capt. Barber said.

The hotel, which was built in the 1600s, is now charred and fire crews say the two neighboring buildings are also a total loss.

But Barber says what matters most is that everyone got away with it safely thanks to a team effort from this community.

“It really is a miracle, and it was a miracle that so many people, whether firefighters, civilians, neighbors or hotel staff, were all able to participate,” Capt Barber said.

The Veranda House Hotel says it is contacting all of its guests who have bookings coming in July to determine next steps now that the hotel is forced to close.

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