A MASSIVE fire last Sunday totally destroyed Waratah Lodge in Thomsons Road, Fish Creek.
The owners, long-time local farmers Dick and Judy Edwards, who bought the boutique hotel, formerly known as Waratah Park Country House, four years ago, were not at home, and for the first weekend for a long time they had no guests staying.
Shortly before 12 noon on Sunday neighbours noticed flames rising from the property and rang 000. CFA brigades from Fish Creek, Foster, Meeniyan, Tarwin Lower, Yanakie and Pound Creek attended the scene with ten appliances between them. They arrived, however, to find the building totally engulfed by fire. It could not be saved.
The cause of the fire was still being investigated on Monday, when The Mirror went to press. The investigation was expected to take some time.
With the hotel extensively renovated in recent years, the damage bill could be as high as a million dollars