A fire that broke out at 3:30 a.m. Monday in downtown Woodstock burned into the afternoon, as firefighters worked to save at least some of the structure containing a family home, restaurant, craft gallery and the offices of the Vermont Standard newspaper.
Smoke poured into the air as at least a dozen departments worked to douse the flames with water drawn from a nearby brook. Woodstock firefighter Tom Emery said firefighters initially tried to enter the building to contain the blaze but were quickly forced out.
A family living in the structure escaped but the building appeared mostly hollowed out. Emery said, "I'd be hard-pressed to believe that there's a whole lot salvageable right now."
State fire investigators are still looking for a cause.
The wood-paneled structure at 47 Central Street houses the Pi Brick Oven Trattoria, The Vermont Standard, and Collective-the Art of Craft in Woodstock Village, along with at least one residence.
According to the Valley News, Vermont Standard Publisher Phillip Cabot Camp Sr. said that his second-floor offices have already been destroyed, but that firefighters were able to salvage computers and a fire safe containing backup documents from an adjacent building.
“I will promise you this newspaper will print this week,” Camp said of the 165-year-old weekly.