Trebor Mansion Inn destroyed in fire
GUILFORD — The Trebor Mansion Inn was destroyed in a fire during the early morning hours of Saturday, July 20. Investigators with The Office of State Fire Marshal have been on the scene since Saturday working to determine the cause of the blaze. The 19th century building located on a hilltop just off of Route 15 had been vacant for several years and is now bank-owned.
Guilford Fire Chief Jeffrey Libby said a 9-1-1 call came in shortly after 3 a.m. on Saturday about a fully engulfed fire at the Trebor Mansion Inn. “It was already down when we got there,” Libby said. “All we could do was park our trucks and keep it cool to protect the outlying structures from the building.”
The chief said no adjacent properties to 11A Golda Court sustained any damage, and there were no injuries on scene.
“It was definitely a 5-alarm fire,” he said. “We had five departments and 50-plus firefighters there at one point.”
Libby said along with the Guilford Fire Department were crews from Sangerville, Dover-Foxcroft, Dexter and Monson, with Greenville being called but sent back before finishing the drive south. He said firefighters were on scene for about six hours on Saturday morning.
The chief said he will learn the cause of the blaze when the fire marshal’s office is done with its investigation at the taped off scene. He is unsure when this work will be completed.
According to the inn website https://www.trebormansioninn.com/, the Trebor Mansion Inn was built from 1830-32 by John Monroe. The building served as an inn and home under various names for much of its history before being converted into a bed and breakfast for the late decades of the 20th century and then being restored by the Shaffer family from 2002-04.
On Jan. 24, 2004, the Trebor Mansion Inn suffered heavy damage in a fire but the Shaffer family reopened two and a half years later. Family patriarch Robert Shaffer passed away in late October 2017.
According to his obituary, https://observer-me.com/2017/11/14/robert-blair-shaffer/, the Guilford building was Shaffer’s seventh historic home restoration. “Robert and his adopted son Zarvin, after three years and $80,000 dollars of renovation, had to watch the firefighters from Sangerville, Monson, Dover-Foxcroft, Cambridge, Dexter and Sebec assist the Guilford Fire Department efforts to save their home. Most sane people would have collected the insurance, sold the devastated remains and left the scene of the disaster. But Robert was not at all like other people, sane or otherwise. He promptly hired local juveniles to chip away the eight inches of ice left by the fire hoses and began planning restoration.”