Fire in Stratton's base lodge causes more than $200,000 in damage

STRATTON — A morning fire on Feb. 24 at the base lodge of Stratton Mountain Resort caused more than $200,000 of damage, but authorities say it could have been much worse.

Assistant State Fire Marshal Paul Spicer said in a report issued last week that “proper maintenance and operation of installed fire protection systems, such as fire alarm and sprinkler systems” made a difference in keeping the fire under control.

Spicer said the Stratton Mountain Volunteer Fire Department got called at about 6 a.m. for a report of a fire alarm activation. The monitoring fire alarm company passed on that they had received a heat detector activation in the kitchen area of Grizzly's restaurant, as well as a sprinkler water flow alarm.

While in route to the scene, Spicer said that Stratton Fire Chief Matt Underwood received additional information that there was smoke and possibly fire within the building. Based on that information, Underwood upgraded the incident to a first alarm, then a second alarm, to bring in additional firefighting resources.

Mutual aid assistance from Winhall, Jamaica, South Londonderry, Wardsboro, Manchester, West Dover, and Wilmington joined in the fire fighting effort, while East Dover provided a cover truck to the Stratton Fire Station, Spicer said.

Upon arrival, Spicer said fire crews found that the kitchen area of Grizzly's restaurant “appeared to have been mostly suppressed by the sprinkler system.”

“Other than minor extension to a second floor office, the fire damage was limited to the kitchen area, with smoke and water damage throughout a large area of the structure and on all floors below the fire floor,” Spicer added.

The Stratton Fire Department contacted the Vermont State Police and requested a fire investigation be conducted.

Spicer said investigators with the Department of Public Safety's Fire Investigation Unit have listed the cause of the fire as undetermined, however, it is not considered suspicious.

Spicer asked that anyone who may have been in the area at the time of the fire should contact the Division of Fire Safety.

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