The Emerald Lake Resort in Calgary, Alberta, has been closed to all visitors since a fire broke out at the lodge on Monday.
The lodge is owned by Emerald Lake Properties, a company that owns the city’s Glenmore and Mount Royal parks.
“We’re in a very difficult situation right now.
We’re facing a catastrophic situation,” says Emerald Lake Chief Executive Officer Steve Hickey.
“The fires were a natural progression.
The fires were ignited by the elements.
They were not caused by human activity.”
The lodge, located on the edge of Calgary’s Emerald Lake Park, has about 2,500 guests and is the only lodge on the property.
Hickey says they’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people visiting and he says it’s hard to explain how the fire was able to take out so many structures in such a short period of time.
“It’s really a tragedy.
There is a tremendous loss of life, and we’re working with the Alberta government to ensure everyone can return to the lodge as soon as possible,” Hickey told Business Insider.
The fire started at around 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning.
“There were multiple structures that were completely destroyed,” Hiesty said.
“This is one of the most significant fires that we’ve ever had.”
Firefighters are still searching for more structures that may have caught fire.
Hiestys lodge is located on a lot that was previously used as a campground.
“I’m really sorry, I just don’t have words to describe it,” Hiernys wife, Linda, said.
She said it’s been difficult to comprehend the loss of the property, and that she’s trying to get the fire under control.
“What’s really saddening is I can’t even think about the things that I want to do with my kids, or my kids’ lives,” Linda Hiestyk said.
The Calgary Fire Services confirmed to Business Insider that they have not yet determined how many structures were damaged or destroyed.
Hierys property was on the west side of the Glenmore Trail, and it is not clear if the fire started there or elsewhere.
Hiers lodge is in a wooded area, and he said it is a difficult area to fight a fire.
“You have to be very, very cautious and you have to get out as quickly as possible.
It’s not going to be easy.
You have to have the resources to do it,” he said.
Hinessys property is owned and operated by the Glenbrook family, who run the lodge.
“They are very, much aware of the risks that we are facing, and their family has been really committed to protecting the property and working to help,” Hiers spokesperson Rachel Boulton told Business Insiders.
“In this circumstance, we are making every effort to ensure that the safety of guests and the lodge is our priority.”
Hiestry has been at the helm of the lodge for more than 40 years.
“Our entire staff, including myself, have been really, really devastated by this fire,” he told Business In Focus.
“From the bottom of our hearts, we know how hard this is going to hurt.”
Hierry said he is currently working with other lodge owners to ensure the lodge will be safe for guests to return.
“As of right now, we don’t know what’s going to happen to the other structures,” he added.
The Fire Service said it has been working with Emerald Lake to determine the extent of damage to the property so far.
“At this point, the fires are not under control,” Hickeys spokesperson said.