The Warm Springs Lodge, the luxurious Sun Valley Resort day lodge at the Warm Springs base of Bald Mountain, caught fire late Wednesday night and sustained significant damage.
Firefighters from several departments battled flames in several different parts of the building, with some flames emerging through the roof. The back side of the lodge sustained heavy damage.
Around 11:15 Wednesday night, flames tore through the eastern wall of the lodge. Within 15 minutes, it climbed the roof—where, 10 hours later, crews from Ketchum, Sun Valley and Wood River Fire and Rescue were still working to quell the blaze Thursday morning.
Shortly after noon on Thursday, Ketchum Fire Chief Mike Elle reported on the radio that the fire was fully contained and the crews would be mopping up for the next several hours.
"It was just down in the corner when I got here," a bystander said minutes after the first fire truck arrived. "Now it’s everywhere."
At its peak, six engines—including two towers—took aim at the building. But within an hour it reached the crest of the roof, and, by the time a handful of firefighters reached the roof, it had already burned ragged holes in the middle of the building.
"We’re going to be here all night," one said as he walked back across Picabo Street.
That, and longer. At 8 a.m. this morning, smoke clung to the valley along Warm Springs Road. Sun Valley Co. set up tables with coffee and breakfast for the firefighters who worked through the night. Their hoses were still trained on the middle of the building—by now, collapsed—hoping to put down last stubborn flames.
Though most of the outer walls still stood, the building was severely damaged.
“We were just there,” a woman said, stalled on her commute to town. “And now it’s gone.”
The resort partially opened Warm Springs Lodge at the outset of the 1992-93 ski season, according to Idaho Mountain Express archives. The lodge building replaced the North Face Hut at the Warm Springs base area, and opened in time for Thanksgiving Day in 1992. It cost $3.5 million to construct.
See our Facebook page for more photos and video from the scene: facebook.com/mountainexpress.