Two Rockland police officers on routine patrol early Sunday morning sounded the alarm when they discovered flames licking up the backside of the Trade Winds Motor Inn. The fire was toned out around 12:50 a.m.

According to Rockland Fire Chief Charlie Jordan, when the first crews arrived the fire was climbing up the outside of the northwest corner of the building, across from the Key Bank drive-thru. The area also provides access to the Trade Winds electrical room in the basement of the four-story building with 138 guest rooms and 15 suites, according to the company’s website.

Jordan said the squad truck was able to extinguish the visible flames, which had melted siding on an adjacent building on Main Street. Access to the electrical room was then made down a ladder into the basement.

While firefighters from Rockland and Rockport worked at the back of the building, a large throng of hotel guests stood on the sidewalk along Park Drive, across the street from the hotel, after having been evacuated from their rooms.

Jordan said that power had been shut down to the hotel because of the electrical issue.

“It may remain out all evening until the hotel can certify to Central Maine Power that all is OK, but I’m not overly optimistic that will occur before dawn,” said Jordan.