Cause of Big Oaks Lodge fire expected this week
Los Angeles County Firefighters and Angeles National Forest Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze that leveled Big Oaks Lodge on Bouquet Canyon Road in the Angeles National Forest. Cory Rubin/ The Signal
By Jim Holt and Austin Dave
Monday, August 13th, 2018

Investigators hope to reveal the suspected cause of the fire over the weekend at Big Oaks Lodge by the end of this week.

Inspector Sal Alvarado of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said he contacted arson investigators Monday for information about the cause so that he could share that news with reporters.

“I was told they’re still investigating and still working on their report,” he said.

“Since they’re working on such a historical site, they’re working hard to find a cause,” Alvarado said. “They hope to have an announcement in a couple of days.”

More than 100 firefighters battled the late-night blaze at Big Oaks Lodge in Bouquet Canyon late Saturday evening into Sunday morning.

The first-alarm fire was first reported at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday on the 33000 block of Bouquet Canyon Road about four miles north of Santa Clarita city limits.

Crews first to the scene found a two-story restaurant fully involved with flames and smoke,according to Dispatch Supervisor Michael Pittman of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Command and Control office.

Arson investigators were among the officials dispatched to the fire as a matter of protocol.

“Any time we’re called out to a fire like this we send in the arson investigators,” Alvarado said. “But calling out the arson team doesn’t mean it’s arson.”

Flames quickly spread to surrounding brush, and the response was augmented to include additional resources to fight a potential wildfire.

County fire and Angeles National Forest crews controlled the 50-foot by 100-foot brush fire within minutes, Pittman said.

The Big Oaks Lodge restaurant continued to burn until 1:15 a.m. when fire crews officially declared knockdown, a term referring to the point in time when the more vigorously burning parts of a fire are extinguished, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Much of the 84-year-old building was visibly destroyed by the blaze. No injuries to firefighters or bystanders were reported, Pittman said.

Arson investigators were dispatched to the scene as part of standard procedure, according to Lt. April Carter of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

“Anytime we’re called out to a fire like this we send in the arson investigators,” Alvarado said. “But calling out the arson team doesn’t mean it’s arson.”

The incident remains under investigation.

Signal photojournalist Cory Rubin contributed to this report.

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Jim Holt and Austin Dave

Los Angeles County Firefighters and Angeles National Forest Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze that leveled Big Oaks Lodge on Bouquet Canyon Road in the Angeles National Forest. Cory Rubin/ The Signal

Cause of Big Oaks Lodge fire expected this week

Investigators hope to reveal the suspected cause of the fire over the weekend at Big Oaks Lodge by the end of this week.

Inspector Sal Alvarado of the Los Angeles County Fire Department said he contacted arson investigators Monday for information about the cause so that he could share that news with reporters.

“I was told they’re still investigating and still working on their report,” he said.

“Since they’re working on such a historical site, they’re working hard to find a cause,” Alvarado said. “They hope to have an announcement in a couple of days.”

More than 100 firefighters battled the late-night blaze at Big Oaks Lodge in Bouquet Canyon late Saturday evening into Sunday morning.

The first-alarm fire was first reported at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday on the 33000 block of Bouquet Canyon Road about four miles north of Santa Clarita city limits.

Crews first to the scene found a two-story restaurant fully involved with flames and smoke,according to Dispatch Supervisor Michael Pittman of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Command and Control office.

Arson investigators were among the officials dispatched to the fire as a matter of protocol.

“Any time we’re called out to a fire like this we send in the arson investigators,” Alvarado said. “But calling out the arson team doesn’t mean it’s arson.”

Flames quickly spread to surrounding brush, and the response was augmented to include additional resources to fight a potential wildfire.

County fire and Angeles National Forest crews controlled the 50-foot by 100-foot brush fire within minutes, Pittman said.

The Big Oaks Lodge restaurant continued to burn until 1:15 a.m. when fire crews officially declared knockdown, a term referring to the point in time when the more vigorously burning parts of a fire are extinguished, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Much of the 84-year-old building was visibly destroyed by the blaze. No injuries to firefighters or bystanders were reported, Pittman said.

Arson investigators were dispatched to the scene as part of standard procedure, according to Lt. April Carter of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

“Anytime we’re called out to a fire like this we send in the arson investigators,” Alvarado said. “But calling out the arson team doesn’t mean it’s arson.”

The incident remains under investigation.

Signal photojournalist Cory Rubin contributed to this report.