World’s largest treehouse burns down in Crossville

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CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – An East Tennessee landmark is now completely gone after a fire late Tuesday night.

The Minister’s Treehouse, the world’s largest treehouse was located in Crossville. Source: Joel Kramer/ Flickr

Cumberland County Fire Rescue responded to a fire at Minister’s Treehouse in Crossville around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

We’re told the entire building burned to the ground in about 15 minutes and about 1,100 gallons of water were used to extinguish the blaze.

No injuries have been reported. There has been no indication of what caused the fire.

The ten-story building stands over 90 feet tall and took over a decade to complete. Landscaper Horace Burgess bought the land outside Crossville in the early 90s. Burgess became ordained as a minister and began working on the project after he said God told him to build him a treehouse.

The treehouse became a popular destination for church groups and tourists alike. The Minister’s Treehouse was closed as a tourist attraction by Fire Marshalls in 2012 due to the dilapidated condition of the structure.

Burgess put the property up for sale in 2018.

According to Realtor.com, it was originally listed for $1.5 million.

Many people in East Tennessee drove to the property after learning the treehouse caught fire.

The closed landmark was well-known in the community.

In the 911 recording that 6 On your Side obtained, dispatch recognized the location of the fire based on the caller’s description of ‘treehouse.’

‘No Trespassing’ signs and a yellow chain blocked most from getting close to the remnants of the structure.

Neighbors in the area said that people were always trespassing, despite the signs and yellow chain.

They said that they’ve had to call law enforcement a few times because of drug activity.

Others who live in Crossville, but not near the property, said the treehouse was a good memory from their childhood.

This is a developing story and we’ll continue to update the details as they become available.

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