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October 22, 2018

3-Alarm Fire Engulfs Stonor Lodge on Bellevue Avenue


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Photo via @curtbagnpt on Instagram

This story was originally published at 4:36 p.m., it has been updated.

Newport Fire Department and mutual aid responded around 4:30 p.m. to a full involved structure fire at 479 Bellevue Avenue, “Stonor Lodge”.

The property was last purchased in November 2013 for $3.285 million, is valued at $2.9865 million and has been under construction.

NBC 10: Construction Owner Says Gas Heaters May Have Caused Stonor Lodge Fire

UPDATE: At this time (5:42 p.m.), there are no reported injuries and Newport Fire Department reports that the “fire is under control”.

This is an active fire scene, Newport Fire Department has not been able to provide a cause for the fire at this time.

About Stonor Lodge (via Wikimapia)

Built between 1870 and 1880, Stonor Lodge was originally known as Mayfield Cottage. It’s first owner was Mrs. William E. Glyn., who was known for her extremely fast carriages. A fire destroyed most of the house in 1916, leaving only a few rooms partially damaged by the fire.

The estate and ruins were purchased by Lord and Lady Camoys, Ralph Stonor and Mildred Sherman, who built a completely new home on the spot. When Mildred died she passed the estate to her son-in-law and daughter, John R Drexel III and Noreen Stonor in 1943. Mr Drexel had grown up in Newport, living at either Cliff Walk estate on Bellevue Avenue or Fairholme, next door to The Breakers. On the grounds, they built a large garage and connecting guest cottage.

Noreen was good friends with Janet Auchincloss and also became friends with her daughter, Jackie. The day before Jackie’s marriage to President John F. Kennedy, Jackie rushed over to Stonor Lodge to escape the hubub of the wedding preparations. The maid let her in as Noreen walked down the stairs with a puzzled look on her face. “Oh Mrs Drexel” Jackie implored “May I stay here for the day? I need to get away from the house. I won’t bother you- I brought a book to read” she said, indicating her to the book in her hand. “Of course Jackie” said Drexel “We are always happy to see you here”. And so, Jackie spent the day before her wedding reading a book in the sunroom of Stonor Park.

John Drexel died in 2007. Noreen turned over the main house to her children and decided to turn the estate’s garage into her residence. After 2 months of renovation, the garage was turned into a comfortable and luxurious residence. It was here that Noreen died on November 6 2012.

Photos:

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