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Our Drum is about 10 feet tall on its carriage and 565 pounds so it doesn't even come close to fitting in this other tunnel." In the past, the drum made the trip to South Bend, Indiana, where Purdue will play No. 12 Notre Dame at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. CalBearsMavenPurdue Marching Band to be Without 'World's Largest Drum' Saturday Against Notre Dame
The A-frame building that has long been a favored escape from the heat for Las Vegas locals replaced the previous lodge, which was destroyed by fire in 1961.
The Mount Charleston Lodge was destroyed Friday by an early morning fire that apparently started in the dining room and then quickly engulfed the popular getaway in the Spring Mountains, officials said.
“It’s safe to say that the lodge is a total loss,” Clark County Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Touchstone told reporters at the scene Friday morning.
The Ellis Island Casino and Brewery in Las Vegas, which bought the lodge in 2018, confirmed in a statement that the main building was “lost,” but said the company plans to rebuild the popular getaway for locals and visitors alike.
“It’s with a heavy heart that we announce that the Mount Charleston Lodge burned down this morning,” Christina Ellis, the company’s marketing director, said in a statement. “Most importantly, none of our team members nor any members of the Mount Charleston community were harmed in the fire.
“The lodge was a beloved landmark, and we plan on rebuilding and recreating the atmosphere and charm that so many were able to enjoy throughout the years.”
As of about 11 a.m. Friday, officials had determined the fire most likely started in the “vicinity of the dining area,” where the flames collapsed a portion of the building’s roof. Investigators were working to determine the cause of the fire, but has not yet been able to enter the still-smoldering remains of the building.
Touchstone said it could take days for officials to determine the cause.
Investigators do not believe anyone was harmed in the fire, Touchstone said. No lodge employees were inside when the flames broke out.
The Clark County Fire Department first received report of the fire at 4:45 a.m. Friday. Firefighters from the Mount Charleston area were the first to arrive at the scene and were soon bolstered by more county crews and some from the Las Vegas Fire Department.
“It was very apparent from the very beginning that this was going to be a defensive operation, meaning we’re not going to send anybody into the interior to fight the fire because it was too dangerous,” Touchstone said.
Firefighters focused on preventing the flames from spreading to the nearby cabins and ponderosa pine trees, which could have caused a potential forest fire, he said. The Ellis Island Casino and Brewery confirmed that only the main lodge was damaged in the flames.
The lodge was built with heavy, old pine logs stacked on top of each other, Touchstone said. The construction is meant to make the building less susceptible to fire than a home in the Las Vegas Valley.
The Nevada Department of Transportation said on Twitter that state Route 158/Deer Creek Road westbound were closed at Kyle Canyon Road, and the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada tweeted that there was no access to the lodge or Mary Jane Falls.
Road closures in the area will be in effect for most of Friday, according to a Facebook post from the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area’s Go Mt. Charleston page.
Touchstone said officials will be letting homeowners past road closures, but the department may keep the road closed for other traffic to prevent an influx of people going to see the lodge’s burning remnants.
Gov. Steve Sisolak posted on Twitter Friday morning, thanking the first responders at the scene.
“Heartbreaking to hear the news about Mt. Charleston Lodge, a Southern Nevada treasure,” he said.
“It was the lodge itself (that was on fire,), the restaurant,” Sullivan said. “Everybody was out in the parking lot.”
Mount Charleston resident Janet Masanz said she was awakened just before 5 a.m. at her home near the lodge when she heard someone honking their horn while driving down the road. When her and her neighbors went outside, they saw flames rising into the air.
It was “terrifying,” Masanz said, especially due to fire danger in the area. Fire restrictions are in effect for the area, meaning campfires, stove fires, smoking outside, welding or operating a torch with an open flame and using explosive devices are prohibited, according to the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area website.
“Now that we have such a dry forest … forest fires are a risk for our homes,” Masanz said. “The first thing that came to my heart was ‘I’m going to lose the first home I bought.’”
Crestfallen, Masanz said she gathered her pets, documents and personal belongings and headed to her parents’ house nearby.
“The fear is we would get trapped up here too, so there was panic,” she said.
Anthony Armas, a former maintenance worker and dishwasher at the lodge, said he awoke to phone calls early Friday about the fire. When he looked out his window in his home near the restaurant, he saw “billowing smoke.”
By the time he arrived at the building, firefighters were spraying water into the smoldering remains. He said about 30 employees still work at the lodge, and he hopes the company will help find them jobs.
“It’s sad,” he said. “I feel bad for my former co-workers.”
Leonie Mowat, the communications and operations director for the Southern Nevada Conservancy who also lives in Mount Charleston, said the lodge is an important part of the Southern Nevada mountain community and a centerpiece of the Mount Charleston area. She described the lodge as a gathering spot for tourists, car clubs, hikers, local law enforcement, forest service and conservancy staffers.
“Hearing that the lodge has burned down is just nerve-racking for me,” Mowat said. “It’s upsetting … I’m shaking. My stomach hurts.”
Construction of the current lodge began in 1962, after a previous lodge on the site that had been operating since at least 1948 was destroyed by a fire in December 1961, according to news accounts.
After the central A-frame building was erected, construction proceeded in phases, with a 150-person restaurant and lounge added in 1965 and 23 adjacent log cabins built later.
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17 September, 2021 - 09:10pm