What’s said to be one of the tallest treehouses in the world mysteriously burned to the ground last week.
Flames engulfed and destroyed the Minister’s Treehouse, a one-of-a-kind structure located in Crossville, Tenn., in the span of about 15 minutes, according to officials. The treehouse measured nearly 100 feet tall and encompassed 10 stories.
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The fire broke out on Oct. 22. Cumberland County Fire/Rescue received a call that the Minister’s Treehouse was on fire at around 10:30 p.m., WKRN reports.
By the time firefighters arrived, “it had already fallen down,” Bobby Derossett, a spokesman for the Cumberland County Fire Department, told the outlet. No injuries were reported in the blaze.
An image of the Minister’s Treehouse in 2012.
Though the cause of the fire remains under investigation, Derossett said it may prove difficult to determine exactly what sparked the blaze.
“Unless somebody comes up and tells us they [saw] somebody doing it, you’d probably never know what started it,” he said, explaining that there were no storms or electrical fires in the area that night that could have possibly ignited the structure.
Now, “you’re just looking at a black spot on the ground,” Derossett said.
The 97-foot tall, 10-story treehouse in East Tennessee caught fire and quickly burned down Tuesday, Oct. 22. No injuries were reported.
(Jae S. Lee/The Tennessean via AP )
The Minister’s Treehouse was constructed in the early 1990s by Horace Burgess, an architect-turned-minister, according to the Associated Press. Burgess previously told the media that God commanded him to build the sprawling treehouse as a means of ministry, inspiring him to construct the 97-foot, 10-story treehouse with salvaged woods scraps and recycled metal over the course of 19 years.
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The massive structure stretched across several trees and featured 80 rooms, Travel Leisure reports. It was something of an East Tennessee tourist hotspot until the state fire marshal declared it a public safety hazard in 2012, as the building lacked sprinklers or a fire alarm system — and shut it down.
Ever since, the Minister’s House, described as “one of the tallest treehouses in the world,” had been vacant, though the treehouse was still allegedly frequented by vandals.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.