According to this Estes Park Trail news story, back in 1951 Lily Lake flooded. Although destroying Highway 7 just at our entrance, it thankfully passed by Baldpate’s buildings without damages.
No doubt the Fire Tower on Twin Sisters Mountain built in 1914 served its safety duty over many years, spotting wildland fires before they became a danger. While no longer there, we appreciate having Rocky Mountain National Park as a monitoring neighbor today.
In Baldpate’s history, we know of two fires which could have been significant but were not. During the 1980s update of the Main Lodge, there was a small fire in the Library, which was evidenced by burned out flooring that we found when redoing shelving in the library.
With wildfires in our area during 2012, Baldpate had been on evacuation alert. During the fall of 2014, just a year after our big flood, we experienced for ourselves the trauma of an unexpected fire. Thankfully our emergency experiences had taught us the value of prayer and calm in the face of emergency.
Just at our night shift change, our very observant hotel manager, Andy, noted a lot unexplained smoke in our Sun Porch Dining Room. Investigation brought us to our basement, with the awful realization that the entire crawlspace was filled with smoke so dense you couldn’t even begin to see. There must be fire somewhere!
The 911 call was made and our staff sprang into action, waking our guests quickly and getting them safely out of the building (thankfully a cool but not freezing fall evening).
Mackenzie happened to be working in Estes Park at Scots Fest so he was the second phone call and arrived sooner than he should have, to turn off our propane and begin the search for the source of the smoke.
Our Allenspark Fire Dept arrived shortly, along with Estes Park Emergency Medical Team and Larimer County Sheriff support. These teams spent hours searching to finally discover the illusive smoldering embers under a water boiler. They were thoughtful and caring toward each of our displaced guests and staff.
To this day our most heartfelt thanks goes to these men and women who serve with such compassion and professionalism, all hours day or night!
Appreciative recognition must also go to our special B&B guests that night who patiently adapted to our emergency situation with extreme graciousness. “Adventures to add to our diaries,” they positively responded!
While hard to imagine that night, or even in the months to follow of vast paperwork details of getting insurance help, the long term blessing is that today, the water boiler is replaced and the flooring upgraded to concrete. All this makes us safer than ever before.
Written by Lois Smith