“Your initial reaction is ‘well, sometimes alarms go off, or maybe it’s a battery, something along those lines,'” he said.
As he left to pick up his wife and head to the 600-acre property in Henryville, she called back saying there were now reports of smoke coming out of the lodge. This news turned into flames in the lodge and then 10-foot flames as they made their way to the family business.
“The lodge sits on a hill and all you could see when we came onto the property were red, blue and white lights from four departments’ worth of fire trucks and ambulances that had gotten to the scene,” he said.
“And the only word I could use to describe that would be surreal. When you see your livelihood going up in smoke, you just kind of wonder what’s going to happen.”
Wooded Glen, in its 14th season, offers 50 lodging rooms, spacious, A-frame common areas and conference rooms overlooking the woods, a completely staffed kitchen and dining room overlooking Lost Lake. It also has a team-building challenge course, a game room and a fitness center.
Garmon said he and his family were incredibly grateful that there had been no guests and no employees on the property during the fire, which was reported “undetermined” by the fire marshal but believed to be electrical in nature.
And Wooded Glen owners didn’t have to miss a beat, much. As of late August, all the rooms had been completely restored and able to be occupied and other than the scenes that live in the memory of the family, it’s like it never happened.
Eleven of the 50 rooms were completely destroyed in the fire, with six more having smoke and water damage.
Firefighters from Monroe Township, Charlestown, Clarksville and Sellersburg worked to contain the fire; their efforts and a smoke wall kept the fire from spreading and limited damage to the other two-thirds of the building.
Pro4mance Fire and Water Restoration, based out of Sellersburg, immediately went to work on clearing the smoke from the remaining rooms. They were able to be occupied the next night, according to schedule.
“The last thing you’d have thought we would hear that night from the fire marshal was that if we could secure the other two-thirds of our lodge, we could occupy the next night,” Garmon said.