Fire at Bed and Breakfast in Milford - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Fire at Bed and Breakfast in Milford

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The Towers Bed and Breakfast shows extensive damage on east side of building (Source: WBOC) The Towers Bed and Breakfast shows extensive damage on east side of building (Source: WBOC)
Extensive damage can be seen on the third floor especially. (Source: WBOC) Extensive damage can be seen on the third floor especially. (Source: WBOC)
Repairs will cost "well over" $50,000, according to those working on home (Source: WBOC) Repairs will cost "well over" $50,000, according to those working on home (Source: WBOC)

MILFORD, Del.- For Daniel and Rhonda Bond, The Towers Bed and Breakfast is more than just a place to sleep for the night. It's also their livelihood, their home, and a piece of Delaware history. 

The two first visited the bed and breakfast more than two decades ago. They loved it so much that they decided to buy it, retire to Milford, and turn it into a home and business. For that reason, the two said they were deeply saddened by a Saturday night fire that caused extensive damage to the building. 

"It's pretty devastating," said Rhonda. "As this has been a labor of love. We've spent a great deal of our time here. And our energy." 

Fire officials said that the fire started when a car crashed into the side of the building, striking propane gas lines that were feeding the building. As a result, flames erupted up the walls on the east side of the building, causing significant damage. The driver than pulled away from the building, and is still on the run, according to police. 

"It shouldn't have happened," said Daniel. "It's one of those accidents that was due to human mistakes." 

The Bonds were in Georgia when the fire broke out. Fortunately, the bed and breakfast closes to guests during the month of January, and so there were no visitors inside. Alfred Schwartz, the innkeeper, said that his three dogs were trapped inside when the fire broke out, although they were in the opposite side of the building.

He was notified of the fire while in a movie in Lewes, and said he sped to the building to ask firefighters about his dogs. 

"The first words out of [the firefighter's] mouth was, 'Your dogs are OK,'" Schwartz said with a smile. "And I almost broke one of his ribs because I grabbed him so hard. I was so happy."  

Preliminary estimates were set at $50,000, but Gale Force Restoration, the group working on the home, said it would end up being far larger than that, due to the number of valuables in the house.  

The bed and breakfast has its origins in a structure built in 1783, and has sat in its current form since 1891. Many of the architectural designs are historical in nature, adding to the costs for repair. 

Anyone with information about the driver is asked to contact Delaware Crime Stoppers at 800-TIP-3333.

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