A Ski Gull maintenance shop that stored much of the ski hill's equipment and tools was destroyed in a fire Saturday.
The Pillager Fire Department responded to a report of a fire at Ski Gull, located on Cass County Road 77 in Fairview Township, about 9:15 p.m. When firefighters arrived, they found the maintenance shop was engulfed in flames.
Mark Cross, Ski Gull board president, said along with numerous tools and spare parts used in the maintenance of the ski hill, a snow groomer, several snow-making machines, a four-wheeler and a four-wheel drive pickup were being stored in the building and were lost in the fire. Those four items alone were worth about $80,000, Cross said.
"What we're left with is a snow groomer and three snow guns we were using at the time," said Cross.
While the total dollar amount lost in the fire is unknown, the Pillager Fire Department considered the building a total loss.
Cross said the equipment was insured, and he said the maintenance shop would be rebuilt as soon as possible. Some equipment will be replaced immediately, Cross said.
In the meantime, Cross said Ski Gull will continue to operate until its March 16 closing date.
"The bright side is, the sun was shining, the chair lift was running and people were skiing Sunday," said Cross. "Fortunately no one got hurt. We will rebuild. Ski Gull will survive this."
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The fire department reported the fire possibly was caused by welding being done in the shop shortly before the fire was reported.
The Nisswa Fire Department provided mutual aid, and North Ambulance was on standby at the scene.
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