TOWNSEND, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A fire at Dancing Bear Lodge has burned a large part of the main structure. The lodge manager reports no one was injured in the fire.
Firefighters say the fire likely started in the chimney Thursday afternoon. The manager on duty heard something in the chimney, went outside and saw flames.
The manager and three workers got out safely and fire crews from the Townsend Area Volunteer Fire Department and Blount County Fire Department responded on the scene at 12:18 p.m.
No guests were on site at the time the fire started, although the manager says there are two guests staying in one room at the main lodge.
Fire crews battled the fire for hours and at one point had to step back and let the wooden structure burn.
Firefighters experiences a flash over and had to evacuate the burning building. One fire fighter was treated for minor injuries.
The lodge has 12 guest rooms, a restaurant, kitchen and offices. The building was destroyed and the statement below explains what the lodge plans to do for the time being.
11-14-2013 Statement from Dancing Bear Lodge & Restaurant:
Dancing Bear Lodge & Restaurant suffered extensive damage today (Nov. 14) to its main lodge as part of a fire. We are grateful that there were no injuries to either guests or staff and can report that there were no guests in the lodge at the time of the fire. The safety and well-being of our guests and staff are our first priorities.
The damage to the lodge and restaurant is significant and will require rebuilding, which Dancing Bear will begin immediately. Dinner reservations are cancelled until further notice, with our apologies to patrons for the inconvenience. All of our cabins were untouched as part of the fire, and we welcome guests to make future cabin reservations.
Guests with hotel reservations can call 865-448-6000. Our team is also working on reaching out to each guest with an update on their specific reservation.