An early-morning fire, believed caused by a faulty oil burner, destroyed the Trapp Family Lodge, home for 40 years of the family that inspired "The Sound of Music, authorities said yesterday. One person died in the blaze, which started in 20-below-zero temperatures, and two others were hospitalized.
Baroness Maria Augusta von Trapp, who fled in her nightgown, was reported safe. Some of the 46 guests in the lodge, once a farmhouse, jumped out of second-and third-floor windows to escape the fire, while the cold and lack of water hampered efforts of firefighters.
The three-story wooden lodge, one of the major attractions in the Stowe area, burned to the ground. Only four chimneys stood the rubble at dawn.
Maria von Trapp's son, Johannes, who operated the lodge, said it would be rebuilt.
The von Trapps settled in the lodge a few years after their 1938 flight from Nazi-occupied Austria.
In the state capital of Montpelier, meanwhile, another blaze swept through a city block, destroying several state offices, a state liquor store, apartments and a children's clothing store. No one was injured in the Saturday night fire, but an incoming deputy attorney general reported that "hundreds of investigation and dozens of cases" were lost.