KETCHUM, Idaho – An investigation into a fire that heavily damaged a lodge at the base of one the nation’s premier ski destinations in Idaho determined where the fire started but failed to find out what caused it, officials said.
The April 18 fire at the Warm Springs Lodge in Ketchum started next to an exterior wall and spread to the roof, Sun Valley Resort spokeswoman Kelli Lusk told the Idaho Mountain Express in a story published Wednesday.
The Idaho State Fire Marshal’s office, Ketchum Fire Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives worked on the investigation.
“While we know where the fire started, the cause is undetermined,” Lusk told the newspaper.
No employees were inside the building that had been closed for the season, and there were no injuries, including among the 60 firefighters who fought the blaze.
Lust told The Associated Press on Wednesday that no damage estimate was available. She said plans are to rebuild the lodge.
“The interior of the lodge is ready for the next phases of the rebuild,” she said. “We feel our guests will be pleased with the revitalized Warm Springs Lodge when we are ready to reopen.”
Lusk said the lodge will open as soon as possible, but didn’t say whether that would be by the time ski season resumes later this year.
The lodge made of river stones and logs was built in 1993 and is one of two base lodges at different access points to the slopes of the 9,150-foot Bald Mountain.
Bald Mountain and Sun Valley Resort are consistently listed nationally as among the top destinations for skiers and draws international visitors.
Bald Mountain, typically called Baldy by locals, has also produced some of the nation’s top alpine skiers and snowboarders.
Picabo Street learned to ski at Sun Valley and won a silver medal in the downhill at the 1994 Olympics in Norway and a gold medal in the super G at the 1998 Olympics in Japan. Snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington also learned at the resort and won a gold medal in the halfpipe at the 2014 Olympics in Russia.
The Sun Valley region became a seasonal destination for the elite after novelist Ernest Hemingway, who is buried in Ketchum, and other stars started visiting in the late 1930s.
Information from: Idaho Mountain Express, http://www.mtexpress.com