The site of a former seafood market in Galesville went up in flames in a three-alarm fire yesterday morning, according to witnesses and firefighters.
The wooden building, in a rural area south of Annapolis and adjacent to the West River, had been renovated in recent years to be a restaurant but had yet to open, neighbors and Anne Arundel County fire officials said. The site had been the subject of a protracted battle over a liquor license, neighbors said.
It took 3 1/2 hours to put out the blaze after firefighters were called to the 4700 block of Woodfield Road about 8 a.m., said Lt. Roy Phillips, spokesman for the Fire Department.
More than 80 firefighters from Anne Arundel, Calvert, Queen Anne's and Prince George's counties, as well as from Annapolis and the U.S. Naval Academy, were on the scene, including 15 engine companies, six ladder companies, seven water tankers and three fireboats.
"It was a total loss," Phillips said, although the department had not determined a dollar figure.
"There were massive amounts of smoke," said John Flynn, a Galesville resident. "By the time I got to the fire -- there was a good deal of smoke -- I could see that a good portion of the restaurant, if not the whole restaurant, was destroyed."
Flynn said the restaurant has been idle during the past several years during a legal struggle over the site's liquor license. Neighbors, including him, were concerned about the commercial traffic the restaurant could draw to a residential area.
Efforts to locate the site's owner were unsuccessful yesterday.