A Western North Carolina ski resort needs a new lodge following a large fire.
The fire at the upper lodge of Wolf Ridge Ski Resort created a big challenge for firefighters and some anxious moments for neighbors.
Jessica Rairick and her son Cole reminisce among the rubble of what was the upper lodge and restaurant at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort after an early morning fire gutted the lodge. "I have three sons. We used to ride our bikes, play in this parking lot and look at this lodge every single day," she said.
The Ebbs Chapel Fire Department responded to the call just after 1:30 Wednesday morning. Steep roads, along with snowy, icy, and windy conditions, made fighting the fire a big challenge according to firefighter Josh Jenkins. "All of those things really hampered our operations as to getting water to the scene and being able to do much about it," he said.
Jenkins tells us it was as bad a fire as they can face. "It was on fire, totally, front to back when we first got there. It had a partial collapse within five minutes of our arrival on the scene," he said.
Rairick, who tells us she was asleep when the fire began to rage, lives just 100 yards from the burned building. "We're right below that. In my mind, if the wind was going a different direction, because we're right below here we could've very well been burned alive. It's crazy. I'm still in shock," she said.
The building has been unoccupied since ski season ended a few weeks ago. Investigators are still looking into what sparked the fire.
The entire Wolf Ridge Ski Resort was up for sale, but the negotiations fell through recently.