An Albertan U16 ski team has escaped a huge fire which gutted the top floor of a lodge at the Panorama Mountain Village ski resort in B.C.'s East Kootenay.
The fire broke out around 1 a.m. Wednesday at 1000 Peaks Lodge, a hotel offering condos at the base of the ski resort west of Invermere.
By the time Windermere Fire Department arrived flames were shooting out of the roof of the five-floor lodge.
Fire Chief Jim Miller said 27 firefighters worked to contain the blaze, which had fully engulfed the lodge within minutes.
"We managed too keep it to the top floor only, without it spreading to other buildings or down further," he said.
Many of the guests staying at the lodge escaped to a main hall and other condos.
Panorama spokesperson Jamie Hurschler said they managed to get all the guests to safety.
"Any guests staying in the buildings were evacuated to the Great Hall while the fire teams worked to put out the fire," he said.
All registered guests of the complex are now accounted for and there have been no reported injuries.
According to witness reports, there is damage throughout the large lodge and the roof is almost completely gone.
Up to 12 condos were gutted by the blaze and many more suffered extensive water damage.
Damage to the building is expected to cost millions of dollars to repair.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and crews are expected to remain on scene for much of Wednesday monitoring for hot spots.
The ski team was staying in the lodge ahead of the U16 Can-Am Western Championships, which are being hosted by Panorama Mountain Village.
Tournament organizers say there is no change to the race schedule, which begins Thursday and runs for four days.
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