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Fire Destroys Historic Clam Shell Lodge

Photo courtesy of Joseph Robertia

A Clam Gulch landmark is no more.

On Jan. 6, a fire tore through the historic Clam Shell Lodge on Sterling Highway.

Central Emergency Services Captain Terry Bookey says passersby reported the fire in the front section of the building just after 9:30 p.m on Friday.

“Our first arriving units from the Kasilof Fire Station arrived on scene about 12 minutes after the dispatcher reported heavy fire. We sent four engines, four water tankers, one medic unit, two utility vehicles and two chief officer vehicles. We also requested mutual aid from the Ninilchik Fire Department and they sent two water tankers,” said Bookey.

Bookey says about 24 firefighters were on scene, working to keep the blaze contained.

“This was a defensive fire, meaning water was sprayed from large lines from the outside of the building, just trying to keep things contained to the structure itself,” he said.

Most crews were released around 4 a.m. Saturday morning. The lodge, which was built in the early 1960s, was completely destroyed.

The building once housed a restaurant, motel, bar and liquor store. For years, it was a gathering place for central peninsula residents. It also played host to a number of popular events, including the Hippy Olympics, the Clam Jam and DeadFish summer music festival.

The building had sat empty since 2011, when owner Patty Baker had to shut down following her husband’s death and the property’s foreclosure.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.