Massive fire breaks out at iconic hotel made famous by Jack Nicholson’s ‘The Shining’

Timberline Lodge, used in the opening scene of The Shining movie, caught fire while guests were staying at the hotel

Amelia Neath
Friday 19 April 2024 17:20 BST
Related Video: Documentary footage shows Jack Nicholson preparing to film The Shining’s axe scene

A huge fire has broken out at the Oregon hotel made famous by the iconic Jack Nicholson movieThe Shining.

While many Stanley Kubrick fans will recognise the remote setting as The Overlook Hotel where spooky twins chillingly told Nicholson’s character Jack Torrance to “Come play with us”, in the real world the Timberline Lodge serves as a family-friendly resort among the snowy landscape of Mount Hood.

On Thursday evening, while guests were staying at the hotel, a commercial fire broke out inside the iconic 55,000-square-foot building.

The Clackamas Fire Department said on social media that multiple crews including from the Hoodland, Gresham, and Estacada fire departments were called to the scene.

No injuries were reported with all guests and staff safely evacuated, KGW reported.

By around 11pm, the fire department reported that firefighters had “a good knock-down on the fire and are doing everything they can to preserve the historic assets that exist here,” KTVZ reported.

By 11.12pm, the fire – which impacted the roof and part of the attic – was finally declared under control and had not spready any further throughout the building, fire officials said in an update.

Crews also helped to remove furniture and artwork from the hotel after the main lobby was drenched with water.

Muliple fire crews on scene to extinguish a blaze coming from Timberline Lodge, Oregon (Clackamas Fire Department)
Fire crew spent time cleaning up the scene after the blaze was extinguished (Clackamas Fire Department)

Timberline’s management told KGW that damage to the interior appears to be minimal, with no internal smoke or fire damage.

John Burton, the lodge’s marketing director, said that he was grateful for the fire crews, adding that this has been “a first” for them at the iconic hotel.

“I think we just need to look at this as it could have been a lot worse,” Mr Burton told the outlet. “It was extremely windy, so it didn’t help the cause, but [I] can’t thank the first responders enough.”

Mr Burton added that he suspects it was embers from the main chimney that started the blaze, but authorities are yet to confirm this.

The US Forest Service will further investigate the cause of the fire.

Jack Nicholson sitting in the lobby in a scene from The Shining. Timberline Lodge was made famous from the cult film (Alamy Stock Photo)

Taylor Hatmaker was staying in the Timberline Lodge with her wife when they suddenly started to hear the fire alarm blaring. Once they exited the building, they could see sparks flying off the central chimney spire, she said.

“It’s emotional seeing something so emblematic of our state with such history on fire. It’s such a historic, special building,” she told The Oregonian.

“Timberline means a lot of things to a lot of people.”

Much of The Shining was filmed at Elstree Studios in the UK, but the Timberline Lodge appears in the opening scene of the movie as the fictional The Overlook Hotel and some other shots throughout the film.

Jack Nicholoson in the iconic scene ‘Here’s Johnny’ scene in The Shining (Alamy Stock Photo)

During the filming, Kubrick was asked not to use the room number 217 (the room in the book) in the production, as it could be offputting for future guests of the lodge.

A nonexistent Room 237 was used in its place.

However, the lodge says on its website that Room 217 is requested more often than any other room.

Tthe lodge isn’t only famous because of the 1980 cult-classic film.

When it opened in 1937, the Timberline Lodge hit headlines as then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt officially opened it and delivered a speech to crowds.

The lodge was later declared a National Historic Landmark in 1977, and is now one of Oregon’s most popular tourist attractions, according to the lodge’s website, drawing nearly two million visitors every year.

The Independent has contacted the US Forest Service for further information.

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