Major fire rips through Maplelag Resort near Callaway, MN

Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 1:13 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 10, 2022 at 1:43 PM CDT
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CALLAWAY, M.N. (Valley News Live) - A beloved resort and retreat in Becker County has been ruled a total loss after a devastating blaze ripped through the property’s main lodge Monday morning.

Fire crews from 11 different departments across Becker and Mahnomen counties responded shortly after 8:30 Monday morning to flames and smoke at Maplelag Resort near Callaway, Minn.

“It’s just so sad. It’s so horribly sad. They’re just such a good bunch. You hate to see any place burn. You don’t want to see anyone lose not only their home, but their place of business,” Becca McCollum, who lives nearby said.

“It’s terrible. You just feel so bad for the family and the business. It’s a big loss for an area like this,” Callaway Fire Chief Keith Heinlein said.

“It’s a wonderful resort. Everybody loves it! Everybody goes there. We have the skiiers, the bicyclists,” McCollum added.

What once stood as a three-story, 54,000 square foot lodge has crumbled into ash. Fire crews say the building’s tin roof and size, as well as the resort’s remoteness made for difficult fire fighting conditions.

“We’re so far away from water sources other than the lake. Just getting the personnel here, the water here. That water truck alone is pushing over 1,000 gallons a minute. It’s just very hard to supply that kind of water for this long of a period this remotely,” Heinlein said.

This is the second fire to happen at the lodge; another fire destroyed the resort in 1999 and they worked to rebuild. Maplelag touts itself as a destination cross-country ski resort, conference center and event center. It’s located about 20 miles north of Detroit Lakes. Community members say they are prepared to help Maplelag rebuild once again if the owners are up to it.

No injuries were reported in the fire.

You can watch an interview with the owners of Maplelag on North Dakota Today HERE.