LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Clark County Fire Officials said Monday that they still don't know what started a fire at Mt. Charleston Lodge Friday.
CCFD Assistant Fire Chief Larry Haydu said the fire started in a store room under the patio deck of the lodge. Haydu described the area as storage space but said it was unclear exactly what was inside the storage area.
Because of that, Haydu said the cause of the fire is undetermined. Haydu said it will be ruled as accidental.
CCFD previously believed the fire started in the dining room.
The fire started around 4:45 a.m. Sept. 17. CCFD described the building as a "total loss" after crews fought the fire for hours. The fire didn't spread to nearby cabins or wildlife.
Read CCFD's full statement below:
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.
“When the tones went out, it ended up with five city engines, two city trucks, three city rescues, two city battalion chiefs, myself, two engines from Mt. Charleston Fire Protection District and their squad,” Haydu said.
Haydu said fire departments across the valley train together for a fire of this magnitude, hoping it will never actually come.
“I think it’s the first time that I’ve known of or had that many structural apparatus in that area,” Haydu said.
The fire was already an inferno when the first firefighter arrived.
“The first in company that night was actually a volunteer on a brush truck that got there first, did a great job. He is a paid guy in town but he volunteers in Mt. Charleston because he lives up there,” Haydu said.
With a lack of wind, that firefighter held the fire until backup arrived.
“What he was able to do is what we call darkening down the fire. He was able to get water on the fire and actually lower the intensity. That is what was key because that is what kept that fire from getting into the trees,” Haydu said.
If it had gotten into trees, it could have spread to cabins next to the lodge where people were staying.
“We are all sorry we lost the Lodge, but we are very proud of the fact that we didn’t lose more,” Haydu said.