Fire engulfs Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend

Fire engulfs Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend

Posted: Updated:
Fire and smoke can be seen through the trees at Dancing Bear Lodge. Fire and smoke can be seen through the trees at Dancing Bear Lodge.
The lodge is located at 137 Apple Way, just off the Lamar Alexander Parkway. The lodge is located at 137 Apple Way, just off the Lamar Alexander Parkway.
The lodging manager says of the 12 rooms in the lodge, only one was being used. He was the only person in the building when the fire started. The lodging manager says of the 12 rooms in the lodge, only one was being used. He was the only person in the building when the fire started.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

TOWNSEND (WATE) - A Townsend vacation spot caught fire Thursday afternoon.

Dancing Bear Lodge was severely damaged by fire that engulfed the building.

The lodge is located at 137 Apple Way, just off the Lamar Alexander Parkway.

A fire dispatcher told 6 News the fire originated in the chimney of the lodge. Officials said they had to let the fire burn through the roof so it had the opportunity to vent. Crews say the fire was too intense for them to safely fight until then.

Once the roof collapsed, crews were able to tackle the flames.

"With a metal roof, we had trouble getting into the hot spots and actually getting to where the fire is burning. We spent several hours just keeping pace with the fire," said Townsend Fire Chief Don Stallions.

The lodging manager says of the 12 rooms in the lodge, only one was being used. He was the only person in the building when the fire started.

Crews expect to be on the scene until late in the evening.

A firefighter with the Townsend Volunteer Fire Department had to be taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. No one else was injured.

In a statement from Dancing Bear Lodge, officials say the damage to the lodge and restaurant is significant and will require rebuilding, which will begin immediately.

Dinner reservations are canceled until further notice. None of Dancing Bear's cabins were damaged, and cabin reservations are still welcome.

Guests with hotel reservations can call (865) 448-6000. Lodge officials are also working on reaching out to each guest with an update on their specific reservation.

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