Fire damages popular Utica lodge - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Fire damages popular Utica lodge

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A popular tourist resort lodge near Utica was evacuated Tuesday morning after a huge fire broke out.    It happened at the Grand Bear Resort Lodge south of Utica.
Flames broke out before daybreak Tuesday morning inside  waterpool area of the resort lodge.    Fire fighters say  it took them more than an hour before they were able to get the massive fire under control

"The place were the fire originated that had all fallen in.  We had to make sure that was good.  Where it ran up the ceiling inside the water park it was still burning inside the ceiling," said Utica Fire Fighter Drew Partain. 

Authorities say about 100 guests were staying at the lodge.  Many guests who heard the alarms had gathered in the lobby before safely evacuating the building. 
Fire fighters did a door-to-door check  on all three floors.

"We found a few people where whe forced their door and had them get out," said Utica fire fighter Lt. James Didricksen.

One couple from Indiana came to the resort to  celebrate their son's birthday.

"It was more nerve wracking cause we have a little one and we didn't grab any of his stuff.  We just bundled him in a blanket and came out cause we didn't know what was going on," said Chad Allard.

Some of the guests were evacuated to a nearby building, others went to the Starved Rock Lodge.   There were no injuries,  the fire remains under investigation. 

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