C. Moon Reed / Las Vegas Sun
Published Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 | 8:09 a.m.
Updated Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 | 1:03 p.m.
Fire heavily damaged the Mt. Charleston Lodge this morning, but nobody was hurt and the owner vowed to rebuild the popular mountain retreat.
The fire, which was reported about 4:45 a.m., likely started in the dining room, where the roof was completely burned away, Clark County Fire Department Deputy Chief Thomas Touchstone said.
“It's kind of what gives us an idea where it started, where the most damage is and where it burned the longest and the hottest,” he said. “That’s where we start our focus."
The lodge, which sits over 7,000 feet atop Mount Charleston, is operated by the Ellis family, which also owns the Ellis Island and Village Pub brands.
Christina Ellis said the lodge was significantly damaged, though the family was still gathering information about the cause and scope of the fire.
“We were closed, so none of our team was there and nobody was hurt, which is the most important thing,” she said.
“We know the cabins surrounding the lodge remain intact. It’s a horrible situation, but we do plan to rebuild. We’re just hopeful that we’ll be able to recreate the charm and beauty that this landmark building provided,” Ellis said.
Ellis said there has been an outpouring of support on social media. Dozens of people commented on an Instagram post today on the lodge’s account.
Jennifer Wilson, @instajenn82, posted an emoji of a broken heart and referred to “so many childhood memories.”
Leonie Mowat, who works in the area with the Southern Nevada Conservancy, said it appeared the lodge was "completely gone.”
“This was a gathering place, not just for visitors coming up, but it was a gathering place for our community,” Mowat said. “It’s such an iconic location for the Spring Mountains.”
Dan Chaney, who lives just down the street, also called the lodge "an icon. I’m sure they’ll rebuild it. But it’s pretty scary. All of this could have gone up.”
Chaney said he was getting ready to go to work shortly before 5 a.m. when he noticed the fire. He initially thought it might have been at another house.
“Then when I realized it was the lodge, I pulled in and it was just (flames) 30 feet in there air,” Chaney said.
The Clark County Fire Department was investigating the cause of the blaze. Crews from the Mount Charleston Fire Protection District, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and Las Vegas Fire & Rescue, which put out a majority of the blaze, also responded, officials said.
Because of the fire and road closures, the Cathedral Rock picnic area, trailhead and trail in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area are not accessible, U.S. Forest Service officials said. The public can still access the Echo, Trail Canyon and Mary Jane Falls trailheads, officials said.