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All evacuated safely from early-morning Utica lodge fire

Several area fire departments called for aid

UTICA — Fire broke out early the morning of Jan. 2 at Utica’s Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Lodge. No injuries have been reported, and according to reports, no guest areas were affected and everyone was evacuated safely.

Utica Fire Chief Ben Brown has reported the fire appears to have begun in the mechanical area of the resort’s water park area, and officials are investigating its cause.

The fire was large enough to require mutual aid assistance from several area fire departments, including LaSalle, Peru, Ottawa, Mendota, Tonica, Standard, Ladd, Serena and Lostant.

The blaze also was serious enough to request aid from outside the local mutual aid division area, and additional assistance was requested from the fire departments of Amboy, Sublette, Ashton, Paw Paw and Harmon.

The frigid temperatures also increased the difficulty of safely bringing the fire under control because of the large amounts of water that were quickly freezing once the water hit the ground. The Utica Fire Department requested that salt trucks provide assistance by salting the area of Route 178 to control the ice buildup on the road.

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