Was the Historic Harborside Inn on Block Island Lost to Fire?


On August 19, 2023, tragedy struck as the Harborside Inn, a historic hotel on Block Island off Rhode Island’s coast, was engulfed by flames. The aftermath left the island declaring a state of emergency, with far-reaching consequences for locals and tourists alike.

  1. The Harborside Inn’s Legacy
  2. Summary of Block Island Harborside Hotel Fire
  3. Fire’s Outbreak and Progression
  4. Immediate Repercussions
  5. A Community’s Response
  6. Tourism Takes a Hit
  7. Ongoing Investigations
  8. Looking Ahead

The Harborside Inn’s Legacy

The Harborside Inn wasn’t just another hotel on Block Island. It stood as an emblem of the island’s rich history. This tragic event not only disrupted the regular buzz of the island’s tourism but also took away a piece of its heritage.

Summary of Block Island Harborside Hotel Fire

Key Information Details
Date of Fire August 19, 2023
Origin Harborside Inn’s kitchen
Damage Extensive to the Harborside Inn
Immediate Consequences Morning ferries canceled
Current Status State of Emergency declared
Future Concerns Impact on tourism
Ongoing Investigations into the fire’s cause

Fire’s Outbreak and Progression

The inferno is believed to have originated from the Harborside Inn’s kitchen late on August 18. By the morning of August 19, the flames had consumed much of the structure. Multiple fire departments worked tirelessly, finally bringing the fire under control. However, by then, the hotel had faced extensive damage.

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Immediate Repercussions

Block Island faced immediate disruptions in the wake of the “block island harborside hotel fire”. Morning ferries were canceled, stranding many. Authorities also urged potential visitors to postpone their plans, further emphasizing the magnitude of the situation.

A Community’s Response

In trying times, Block Island’s community showcased resilience and unity. While the island grappled with the loss of a historic landmark, the locals came together, ensuring that safety remained paramount. The state of emergency was imperative for both the island’s inhabitants and its visitors.

Tourism Takes a Hit

The repercussions of the fire are not just immediate. Block Island, a favorite summer retreat, now faces a daunting challenge. With the destruction of one of its prime attractions, the future tourism season looks uncertain.

Ongoing Investigations

While the immediate threat of the fire has been quelled, many questions remain. Investigations are underway to decipher the cause of the fire and any potential oversights that could have prevented this disaster.

Looking Ahead

Block Island is more than just its landmarks. It’s about the spirit of its people and the natural beauty it encapsulates. While the loss of the Harborside Inn is grievous, the island will undoubtedly rally, rebuild, and continue to be a cherished destination.


Q: When did the fire at the Harborside Inn occur?
A: The fire broke out on August 19, 2023.

Q: Where did the fire originate?
A: The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen of the Harborside Inn.

Q: How has transportation been affected by the fire?
A: Morning ferries to the island were canceled following the incident.

Q: Is the situation on Block Island now safe?
A: A state of emergency has been declared to ensure the safety of residents and visitors. Investigations are ongoing.

— by Rishi Mehra