CAPE MAY, NJ (CBS) — Fire this morning hit above a popular restaurant in Cape May, sending one person to the hospital.

The Merion Inn, just a block off the beach, is a popular Victorian structure that dates back to the 1880s.  It now serves as a restaurant with apartments on the two floors above.

Richard Lundholm, deputy chief of the Cape May Fire Department, says the fire was confined to a unit on the second floor.

“Three people were rescued from the building,” Lundholm told KYW Newsradio on Thursday morning.  “One was sent to Temple University Medical Center in Pennsylvania by helicopter for treatment for burns and smoke inhalation.”

But there’s smoke and water damage throughout the historic building, and it couldn’t come at a worse time for the restaurant, which is known for hosting holiday celebrations and was preparing for dinner reservations through New Year’s.

Lundholm believes the water damage itself may make it impossible for the place to open for the holidays.  No one from the establishment was immediately available for comment.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060.

Watch & Listen LIVE