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Fire guts historic Mt. Charleston Lodge outside Las Vegas

KSNV – Las Vegas logo KSNV – Las Vegas 9/18/2021 Matthew Seeman
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A fire has gutted the historic Mt. Charleston Lodge west of Las Vegas Friday morning, destroying a popular destination for valley locals and tourists who have enjoyed visiting the location over the decades.

Flames could be seen coming from the roof of the main building adjacent to Kyle Canyon Road, across from the Cathedral Rock trailhead.

Clark County Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Touchstone said dispatchers started getting calls about the fire around 4:45 a.m., with crews from Mt. Charleston Fire Protection District, Clark County Fire Department and Las Vegas Fire & Rescue responding.

They found what he called full involvement of the dining area of the lodge. A total of 45 personnel responded and, unable to get inside, set up a defensive operation to prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings, Touchstone said.

Caption: KSNV

The cause of the fire remains unknown, he added, though investigators believe it started in the dining room. All employees had gone home for the night Thursday, and no injuries have been reported.

"It's safe to say that the Lodge is a total loss," Touchstone said, noting that it carried a lot of sentimental value for the Las Vegas community.

The fire did not spread to the surrounding area or cabins, a spokesperson for the Lodge's corporate owner, Ellis Island Hotel & Casino, said in a statement.

"We'd like to thank all the first responders who assisted with keeping everything contained this morning," Christina Ellis, Ellis Island's marketing director, said. "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."

The historic lodge featured a restaurant and bar, along with several adjacent cabins for lodging. It's a popular destination during the summer when temperatures on the Spring Mountains are often around 30 degrees cooler than in the Las Vegas valley, and during the winter when the surrounding area receives snowfall.

One News 3 viewer shared a photo showing an entire building engulfed in flames, saying via Twitter that they were in a cabin closest to the restaurant when they were woken up by people from neighboring cabins.

A road closure is in place for most of the day on Kyle Canyon Road, starting at Echo Road.

The Clark County Fire Department is investigating the fire. Las Vegas Fire & Rescue says several of its units responded and would remain on scene Friday.

The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management also provided assistance to make sure the fire didn't spread to the mountains.

A Forest Service spokesperson says the Cathedral Rock picnic area, trailhead and trail are not accessible due to the fire and road closure. The Echo, Trail Canyon and Mary Jane Falls trailheads remain open.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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