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Clearwater Lodge burns, devastating loss for Delta community

What was once a beautiful log building has been reduced to a smoldering shell
Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 5:23 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - What was once a beautiful log building has been reduced to a smoldering shell. It is all that remains of the Clearwater Lodge, a popular restaurant, bar and venue in Delta Junction. This is the second time in recent years that the lodge has burned to the ground.

“A real big shock, like real sad,” said Maxwell Stepp, a Clearwater Lodge customer.

At around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning the Rural Deltana Volunteer Fire Department received reports of a fire at the Clearwater lodge. By the time they arrived, the building was fully engulfed in flames. Fortunately, the building was empty and no one was injured in the fire.

“So right now as you can see behind us is just the concrete structure. All the timbers, the only remaining timbers is what is on the backside of the building, pretty much everything else had burnt out. On the side here, just on the right side of us here, the floor had collapsed,” said Tim Castleberry, Rural Deltana Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief.

In the early hours of Tuesday morning the Clearwater Lodge in Delta Junction caught fire.
In the early hours of Tuesday morning the Clearwater Lodge in Delta Junction caught fire.(John Dougherty/KTVF)

“So you know this building, it’s a landmark, it’s been here for many years. The original building burnt down six years ago, and then they built this one. This one opened up four years ago. It’s a sad thing to have it go, and especially for a second time, you know, we feel for the family. To go through something twice is just got to be super hard,” continued Castleberry.

The building is going to be a complete loss.

“I loved going to the Clearwater, mainly to see, hang out with buddies and go hunting afterwards or getting back from a long day for lunch,” said Stepp. “I guess it’s a tragedy really, right before the winter, everybody wants to go meet up at the bars and have a good time for the winter and then the nicest one in town burns down.”

After the loss of the original building to a fire in 2014 the lodge was rebuilt in its current form.

“The original lodge burnt several years ago, so this was a rebuild from that and they put a lot of love and a lot of heart into it so it’s pretty tough for the family,” said Keith Warren, a Delta resident.

“After it burned down the first time he [the owner] rebuilt it like more of a memorial for his mom in the exact way that she wanted it and uh, man I hope he is doing alright after all this,” said Stepp.

While the future of the landmark remains unclear, one thing one thing is certain, the lodge will be missed.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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