Oh, dear. That’s not good.

I have a note in my calendar to check in ‘09 for opening notices for Nora Roberts’ hotel in Boonsboro, MD. However, as Bitchery member Jennifer alerted me, the hotel building is on fire and three states’ worth of firefighters are battling the blaze. Recent reports indicate the blaze is under control at this time, but the building may be a total loss.

That is a serious shame. I’m sorry, Nora. And to the firefighters holding wet hoses in the freezing cold – well done, y’all. Coffee’s on me. With Brandy.

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  1. 1

    How awful! And the restaurant loss last month. I’m glad it sounds like they’ve contained it by that report. So sorry. :(

  2. 2

    Oh, this is too bad!  I hope that no one is hurt.

  3. 3
    KCfla says:

    That is truly awful!
    I’m sorry for all the people who were affected by that fire.

  4. 4
    Rebecca says:

    Damn, Nora, I’m sorry.

    You were trying to do something good for your home town.

    Rebecca

  5. 5
    Bonnie L. says:

    Oh, that is awful for everyone.  So much history lost for that town (and the opportunity to stay at what sounded like a rockin’ B and B).  I hope that they got the historical documents out of the town hall in time!

  6. 6
    Tam says:

    Late 1700s?  Oh, that’s such a shame – it’s awful when such historic buildings are lost… 

    And what horrible luck for Nora Roberts – she must have sunk a bit of her heart into the place.

  7. 7
    whey says:

    That is all kinds of suck. :(

  8. 8

    Oh, man.  I’m a Maryland native myself, and my mom sends me all the local articles on the B&B.  We had planned to go check it out together.  :( 

    My heart goes out to you, Nora, my thoughts are with you.

  9. 9
    Cori says:

    Oh, that’s horrible. At least no one was hurt or killed, but the loss of a historic building is always terrible, and doubly so when it had such a bright future.

  10. 10
    TracyS says:

    What a shame. I’m glad no one was hurt though.

  11. 11
    SandyO says:

    I always hate to see a historic building going up in flames, particularly when someone (like Nora) has been putting so much heart into remodeling it.

    I’m so sorry for you, Nora.

  12. 12
    Randi says:

    I’m so sorry, Nora. I hope everyone in town is safe and kudos for the firefighters. SB Sarah has the coffee, but I’ll bring the donuts.

  13. 13
    Angela James says:

    Ugh. My sympathies to Nora, her husband and the others in town who were affected. Small town Maryland has had a run of bad luck with historic buildings and fires recently (last month it was Cambridge, Maryland and three fires in one week).

  14. 14
    Jaci Burton says:

    Oh how awful for everyone involved. I hope no one was hurt. So sad about the loss of all the beautiful history.

    My sympathies to Nora and her husband.

    ^5’s to all the courageous firefighters. You all rock!

  15. 15
    Eve Savage says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of the historical buildings and the dream of a Romance Couple B&B. :( I’m glad no one was physically hurt.

    It’s great so many firefighters responded and were able to get it under control. It could have been much more devastating!

    Good thoughts to Nora and Bruce.

  16. 16
    MaryKate says:

    Oh, I’m *SO* sorry Nora! Goodness, what a horrible loss for you and your family.

    As Jaci says, thank goodness for the courage of firefighters!

  17. 17
    Jane says:

    That sucks big time.  Sympathies go out to Nora, her family and the town.

  18. 18
    Leslie Kelly says:

    Oh no! We had heard about the fire this morning because DH’s boss couldn’t get to work due to the snow…and power outages at her place in Boonsboro because of a fire. Had no idea until just now that Nora’s building was involved.

    I’m so sorry to hear this, Nora.

  19. 19
    Melissa Blue says:

    That sucks. My heart goes out to Nora and family. Thank goodness no one was hurt.

  20. 20
    Silver James says:

    I second all the suckage sentiments. I’d send “Hot Hands” (chemical handwarmers) and thermal blankets to go with the coffee and donuts. I’ve “been there, done that” when the water froze almost as quickly as it came out of the nozzle. Thankfully, the firefighters got it contained and it appears that no one has been hurt.

    Nora, my deepest regrets that your hard work and ideas are literally up in smoke. I hope you will consider rebuilding. It won’t be historic, but it can still be lovely.

    Good thoughts to you, your husband and the good folks of Boonsboro.

  21. 21
    Nora Roberts says:

    Thanks to everyone. It’s horrible and heartbreaking. I was just in there yesterday, and it was looking so good. Now, pretty much gone.

    We may be able to save some of the old stone walls—that’s for engineers to decide.

    But even if we don’t, we’ll rebuild. We have every intention of shoveling out, cleaning up, and starting over.

    I mourn that wonderful old building—every brick and stone. I honestly do. I had a serious love affair going. So, we’ll do what we can to pay tribute and put another in its place.

    Inn Boonsboro won’t open this summer, as we’d hoped. But give us another few months.

    There was another building lost, others damaged. It’s devasting for everyone involved. And a serious miracle no one was hurt. So, when you factor in that vital last part, we were pretty damn lucky.

  22. 22
    Tina says:

    I echo the previous sentiments—it does seriously suck and I’m very sorry it happened, especially so soon after your son’s restaurant.  I hope you’re able to save some of the original walls. 

    It is wonderful to hear that no one was killed or seriously injured, though.  Everyone must have acted very quickly for that to be so.  Kudos to the firemen and other first-responders!

  23. 23
    Eunice says:

    Oh, Nora, I’m so sorry.

  24. 24
    Carrie Lofty says:

    How terrible!

    Strange, but yesterday Victoria’s Nautical Inn, an historic restuarant/inn here in Kenosha, WI, burnt to the ground. No one was hurt, thankfully. It’s one of those businesses that helps prop up the area, financially. The loss will be much more than a building. So here’s hoping everyone can rebuild.

    My condolences, Nora. Truly.

  25. 25

    I’m so sorry.  Very happy to hear that no one was hurt, but sad for your loss.

  26. 26
    rebyj says:

    what a loss!!! old buildings that have stood so long have personalities of their own and it’s so sad to see one go.

    hugs Nora, Bruce and the town of Boonsboro!

  27. 27
    azteclady says:

    I was relieved to read that there was no loss of life or serious injuries, but it really sucks in so many ways—time, effort, and the repercussions to everyone involved in the Inn will be felt for a long while.

    (((Nora and family)))

  28. 28

    What terrible news! And while it is so fortunate that no one was killed, it is still a devastating loss.  To Nora, her family and the town, my sympathies.

  29. 29
    snarkhunter says:

    So sorry, but glad no one was physically injured. :/

  30. 30
    SonomaLass says:

    Oh Nora!  What a loss, but you have (no surprise) such a terrific attitude about it.  No lives lost or serious injuries is the best news, of course.

    My sister had a similar experience a few years ago—she runs her town’s art programs, and the beautiful historic building she worked from was almost completely destroyed by fire.  They were able to design a wonderful new facility that incorporates and highlights the walls that were salvaged, so the historic beauty isn’t lost.  I wish for you as good an outcome, and I know the town is lucky that someone with your determination and optimism is behind this project.

    When the Inn opens, I expect you’ll have lots of Smart Bitches as guests.  Count me in!

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