- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 29, 2015

OGUNQUIT, Maine (AP) - Structural damage hampered investigators as they sought Wednesday to find the source of a wind-swept fire that destroyed a waterfront hotel and an adjacent restaurant in Ogunquit.

Both the Blue Water Inn and Huckleberry’s Restaurant were total losses after a blaze started in the hotel and spread to the restaurant Tuesday night, said Fire Chief Mark O’Brien. Two firefighters were treated for smoke inhalation.

Sgt. Ken Grimes of the state fire marshal’s office told the Portland Press Herald on Wednesday that investigators believe the fire started in the kitchen, where electricity was routed into the building. But the final determination could take weeks.

Firefighters said strong winds fanned the flames.

On Wednesday, fire marshal investigators couldn’t get into the building because of fears that fire-damaged walls could tumble onto them. Adding to the instability was the inn’s location on a pier, not on a traditional foundation.

The seven-room Blue Water Inn was a bed and breakfast that also had a restaurant and beach bar. It was due to open this weekend.

Town Manager Thomas Fortier said he has been receiving emails from people across the country who have visited the Blue Water Inn.

“They are sending condolences for the loss. They are talking about how beautiful the area is and how they enjoyed staying there,” he told the Portsmouth Herald.

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