WAUSAU PILOT AND REVIEW
The main lodge at an Iron County ski resort burned to the ground Friday in a blaze that appears to have started in a fireplace chimney, officials said.
The blaze was reported at about 4 p.m. Friday at Whitecap Mountain Ski Resort in the town of Upson.
Smoke from the blaze was visible for miles by 4:30 p.m. A former employee said much of the building, renovated over the past several months, was constructed of cedar, which burns rapidly. An asphalt-tiled roof also contributed to the heavy black smoke.
Temperatures hovered around zero, but there wasn’t much wind as firefighters from throughout the county and Ironwood spent hours battling the blaze, originally reported as a kitchen fire. Crews worked through the night to extinguish the flames and eliminate any potential hot spots.
Occupants of nearby condominiums were evacuated.
The Ironwood Globe reports several loud explosions rocked the area as flames ripped through the building. As of late Friday, no injuries were reported.
Whitecap, with its hotel and lodging, can accommodate 500 guests and employs about 70 people.
Top photo: Courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff’s Department