New Jersey's Sergeantsville Inn, Host to President George Washington, Destroyed in Fire

A historic inn in southern New Jersey was destroyed after a large fire ripped through the structure early Monday.

Officials were notified at about 2 a.m. that smoke was coming out of the Sergeantsville Inn on Rosemont Ringoes Road in Sergeantsville, an unincorporated area in Delaware Township. The inn has stood since the 1700s and hosted President George Washington.

"This is the center of our town," Delaware Township Mayor Roger Locandro said. "This is the place where senators and assembly people come. This is a place where people celebrate their birthdays or anniversaries -- their life events."

When fire crews were first notified, there was smoke coming from the two-story stone building, officials said. But the fire quickly grew, with flames shooting through a partially collapsed roof.

Firefighters rang four alarms as they called in help from surrounding towns to battle the blaze. Crews were pulling water from fire hydrants a few miles away and trucking it in.

One firefighter suffered a minor knee injury, but no other injuries were reported. It was unclear what sparked the blaze.

The Sergeantsville Inn began as a private home before being converted into a grain and feed store in the 1830s, according to its website. The restaurant opened in the early 1900s. The building has also been home to a grocery store, ice cream parlor and pelt trading center.

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