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Bed-and-Breakfast Owners Rebuilding Following Destructive Fire

Posted: Updated: Jun 12, 2018 04:32 PM
Much of the fire's damage is inside the B&B Much of the fire's damage is inside the B&B
The inside of Chestnut Hill The inside of Chestnut Hill
Not much damage appears outside the B&B Not much damage appears outside the B&B
The fire occurred on Saturday, June 9 The fire occurred on Saturday, June 9
ORANGE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

The recovery process is underway at a bed-and-breakfast in Orange County that suffered damage as a result of a fire over the weekend.

On Saturday, June 9, Chestnut Hill burst into flames and crews report extensive damage within the inn.

The bed-and-breakfast on Caroline Street dates back to 1860 and was renovated in 2003 to become a popular wedding venue.

Kathleen Ayers, the owner of Chestnut Hill, says her property was hit by lightning on Saturday, causing the B&B to burn and ousting a wedding party in the middle of the night.

From standing outside of the inn, you may not be able to tell what happened. However, the inside is a very different story.

Ayers says seeing everything she owns burned or covered in soot has been a humbling experience.

She and her husband are already in the early stages of rebuilding, with contractors doing work inside and lots of calls to their insurance company.

"We've just been taking it moment by moment, trying to piece things back together,” says Ayers. “Our biggest effort is towards our brides and grooms and our B&B guests. Doing everything we possibly can to try to, you know, rebuild as fast as we can for the weddings so that we can do that."

Ayers is working with nearby venues to make sure weddings and other events that had been booked at Chestnut Hill can still happen.

The 30 people staying at the inn at the time of the fire got out safely and no injuries have been reported.

Authorities have received reports of the sprinkler system not working in the inn during the time of the fire, but that's currently still under investigation.