Historic Columbia Gorge hotel heavily damaged in fire - KPTV - FOX 12

Historic Gorge hotel, featured in 'Twilight' movie, severely damaged in fire

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The hotel, built in 1924, was heavily damaged. The hotel, built in 1924, was heavily damaged.
Still image taken from video sent to KPTV by fire witness. Still image taken from video sent to KPTV by fire witness.

A three-alarm fire that damaged a historic Columbia River Gorge hotel started when sparks from the chimney landed on the cedar roof, according to fire investigators.

The View Point Inn, featured prominently in the movie "Twilight," caught fire early Sunday afternoon.

Watch FOX 12 Report: View Point Inn fire caught on camera

Two of the movie's fans, who came to see the hotel, noticed the fire and alerted staff members, who tried unsuccessfully to put the flames out with a garden hose.

The hotel, built in 1924, was heavily damaged.  Flames burned through the hotel's roof and gutted the top floor.

The hotel's owners filed for bankruptcy last month. 

At first uncertain of what they would do with the property, owner Geoff Thompson told Fox 12 he thinks he and his business partner can repair the inn.

"This is one of the most beautiful properties in the world.  We have people who come from all over the world to come to this amazing inn," said Thompson.  "And to think it was almost gone many times before, through ruin and neglect.  A little fire isn't going to stop us, but unfortunately this is a big fire. I can't do it by myself."

A wedding planned at the hotel Sunday afternoon was moved to the River View Restaurant in the area.

Fifty more weddings are planned at the venue this summer, including Humberto Olmos' August 7 ceremony. He and his fiancee drove to a lookout point to see the inn when they heard about the fire.

"Shocked. You know. It's less than a month away. It's kind of disappointing," he said.  "Hopefully we can get a refund on that. I highly doubt it."

The owners said they hope they can still hold events outside and in the gazebo area, since most of the damage is concentrated on the roof and the back of the inn.

Another fire broke out at the hotel in December 2008, damaging the kitchen, basement and a room on the second floor. 

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