Golf resort

Fire breaks out at Quaaout Lodge in Shuswap at Talking Rock Golf Resort

A hotel guest said there was little the fire department could do and the part of the lodge containing all the hotel suites was completely submerged.

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When the fire alarms sounded at Talking Rock Golf Resort’s Quaaout Lodge early Sunday, Joel Levy had just sat down to breakfast.

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The commercial photographer and editor of the Toronto Guardian news and lifestyle website had only his mobile phone on him as resort guests were ushered outside.

Within about 20 minutes when firefighters arrived at the remote Little Shuswap Lake location, the fire in the wing containing the hotel suites was completely out of control.

Levy said firefighters couldn’t do much and the part of the pavilion containing all the suites was completely submerged.

He said the section with the restaurant and golf shop appeared to have been saved thanks to a firewall between the wings.

The other good news is that the head count by staff and later the RCMP suggests everyone got out safely.

“We heard an animal was missing, but they found it an hour later on the golf course,” Levy said.

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Levy was in Quaoout to report on the popular, award-winning resort, which is owned and operated by the Little Shuswap Lake Band.

As of early Sunday afternoon, he was still in an emergency shelter at the nearby band office. He has neither his keys nor his wallet and probably lost some $10,000 in camera and electronic equipment in the fire.

Many other guests had little or nothing with them when they were forced to evacuate. Some were even still wearing dresses, Levy said.

But his thoughts are primarily with those who depend on the station for their livelihood.

“I’ve met a lot of amazing people here and I really feel for them,” he said, noting there’s likely a years-long rebuilding ahead for the 70-room hotel.

“So many people work there and it’s such a small town.”

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Quaaout Lodge management said on Twitter Sunday evening that the resort and golf course would be closed until further notice.

“Kukstsémc (thank you) everyone for the outpouring of support and help today with the fire,” read a tweet from the Talking Rock Account. “A special thank you to the first responders and personnel on site. We are very lucky to be part of such an amazing community.

A statement from Little Shuswap Band Chief James Tomma is expected on Monday.

Frank Caputo, the MP for Kamloops–Thompson–Cariboo, tweeted Sunday morning that the fire “brought tears to my eyes,” adding that he had recently visited the complex.

“Our hearts go out to our friends at Quaaout Lodge and Talking Rock Golf and the Little Shuswap Indian Band for this morning’s devastating fire,” the South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce wrote. “Our thoughts are with you all.”

The lodge and spa opened in 1992 while the championship course was completed in 2006.

A glimpse of fire damage at Talking Rock Golf Resort's Quaaout Lodge in the Shuswap area near Kamloops.
A glimpse of fire damage at Talking Rock Golf Resort’s Quaaout Lodge in the Shuswap area near Kamloops. Photo by Joel Levy /Twitter
A glimpse of fire damage at Talking Rock Golf Resort's Quaaout Lodge in the Shuswap area near Kamloops.
A glimpse of fire damage at Talking Rock Golf Resort’s Quaaout Lodge in the Shuswap area near Kamloops. Photo by Joel Levy /Twitter

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