Big Sur hotel and Lucia Lodge restaurant destroyed by fire

Flames engulf the restaurant at Lucia Lodge in Big Sur, which was destroyed in a structural fire on Tuesday, August 10, 2021.

Flames engulf the restaurant at Lucia Lodge in Big Sur, which was destroyed in a structural fire on Tuesday, August 10, 2021.

Almost centenary Big Sur Hotel and Restaurant was destroyed by fire on Tuesday night, according to Big Sur Fire’s Facebook posts.

Firefighters responded to the structure blaze at Lucia Lodge, an iconic property perched 300 feet atop a Big Sur bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, said Big Sur fire, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that provides fire protection, rescue and medical emergency services to the community of Big Sur.

When they arrived, the flames had already passed through the roof of the restaurant, Big Sur Fire said.

Firefighters immediately started fighting the blaze and were able to stop the fire from spreading to the general store section, the group said.

Agencies such as Cal Fire, the Monterey County Regional Fire District, the Mid Coast Fire Department and the US Forest Service sent crews to help fight the blaze.

According to Angela Padilla, deputy administrator of Big Sur Fire, the majority of the restaurant and kitchen at Lucia Lodge were destroyed and other parts of the lodge, including the store, were damaged.

Big Sur Fire firefighters respond to a structural fire at Lucia Lodge in Big Sur on Tuesday, August 10, 2021. Big Sur Fire

“It’s so sad,” said Padilla, adding that the hotel‘s rental rooms with their “million dollar views” apparently didn’t burn down.

Padilla said crews remained on site at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, mopping up and monitoring the remains of the blaze. She said they plan to stay there at least for the rest of the day.

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, but there was “nothing very obvious” that firefighters noticed at the time, Padilla said.

According to Lucia Lodge website, it was built by one of the 19th century Big Sur pioneer families and those who remain are welcomed to the village of Lucia by “the fifth generation of the Harlan family”. The town and lodge, according to the site, are “named after the metamorphic mountains that surround it.”

A recent episode of the Netflix show “Ratched” starred Lucia Lodge.

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Kathe Tanner has written about the people and places of SLO County’s North Coast since 1981, first as a columnist and then also as a journalist. Her career has included stints as a bakery owner, public relations manager, radio host, trail guide, and jewelry designer. She has lived in Cambria for over four decades, and if it happens in town, Kathe knows it.

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