A Clark County Fire Department official says that the cause of the fire that completely destroyed the Mt. Charleston Lodge remains undetermined, but foul play is not suspected. Assistant fire chief Larry Haydu says the fire stared in a storage room under the patio deck at the lodge, not the dining room that was first suspected.
In a statement to FOX 5 News, the fire department suspects electrical or mechanical may have caused the fire, but because of the damage of the fire, the cause remains unknown and was ruled accidental.
The fire department says: “The Clark County Fire Department’s Fire Investigation Division was able to determine that the fire began in the storage areas of the lodge, which were positioned under the out-door dining deck. A number of potential causes for the fire were identified within this area of origin. These include a number of different electrical and mechanical items. Due to the extent of fire damage to the area, each of these items could not be eliminated as to whether they caused the fire or not. Due to having multiple potential causes of the fire remaining, the exact cause of the fire is undetermined at this time. That said, there is no indication, thus far, that this was an intentional act.”
Firefighters were called to the scene at 4:45 a.m. on Friday, September 17, to find the fire “fully involved.” Five city engines, two city trucks, three city rescues, two city battalion chiefs, two engines from Mt. Charleston Fire Protection District, and their squad responded to the fire that took hours to extinguish and resulted in no injuries. The windless day prevented the fire from spreading to cabins on the property or trees in the surrounding Kyle Canyon, part of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area. The lodge, surrounded by cabins and more than 50 miles of marked trails over rocky terrain, was closed at the time that the fire started.
Ellis Island owns the lodge, which featured an A-frame building with a 20-foot loft ceiling and high windows opposite the lounge. The popular destination for hikers often offered temperatures 20 to 30 degrees cooler than Las Vegas, 50 minutes to the southeast of the lodge, from its perch at 7,717 feet in the midst of the Kyle Canyon in the Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest.
Christina Ellis, Ellis Island’s marketing director, says the beloved landmark will be rebuilt.