CORBETT, Ore. -- The owner of the View Point Inn told KGW he was devastated when he learned that a fire was tearing through the historic property Sunday, but he's determined to keep the popular inn open for business.
The two-alarm fire heavily damaged the inn and started with sparks from the fireplace that ignited cedar shakes on the roof, according to Tom Layton of Multnomah County Fire District 14.
Geoff Thompson has owned the inn for the past 14 years and said it's become his life. There was no insurance on the building, since the policy lapsed after he and his partner stopped making the payments earlier this year.
It would take an estimated $1 million to repair and bring the building up to code, investigators said.
"Where there's a will, there's a way," he said on Monday. "I love the inn. This is my life, this is my dream. It's worth saving."
Built in 1924 as a private home, the inn is a landmark in the Gorge and on the National Register of Historic Places. The attic, the roof and all three upper floors were damaged in Sunday's fire. But amazingly, the art and many antiques were fine.
Thompson said he and his partner have been forced to rebuild sections of the inn before and they'll do it again.
"I can give up and walk away and leave the inn or I can keep fighting, reach out to the public for help," Thompson said. Longtime friend, Joy Beldin has already made a donation.
"I hope they can make it work and I hope the government steps in. It's a beautiful landmark," she said.
He said his biggest challenge at first, will be to accommodate the 50 wedding scheduled to take place over the summer.
Crews called in a second alarm to battle a fire at the View Point Inn, in Corbett, at 40301 E. Larch Mountain Road, around 12:15 p.m., according to dispatchers.
Witnesses told KGW a couple eating at the restaurant spotted the fire and alerted the owner. When initial attempts to extinguish it failed, crews were called in.
A wedding was scheduled for Sunday afternoon. The wedding party was safely evacuated when the fire broke out, according to the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.
The View Point Inn gained a surge in popularity when it was featured in the film "Twilight ." A fire in 2008 significantly damaged two rooms and the kitchen.
The owner of the inn filed for bankruptcy last month, according to the Portland Business Journal.
"It almost made me sick to my stomach," witness Steve Runyan said Sunday, "to see this treasure being lost."
Crews did not say how much damage the fire had caused, but it was extensive. Because it's in a rural location, water tenders were being brought in to douse the flames.
Fire crews from Portland, Boring and Gresham were assisting the Corbett Fire Dept.
There were no reports of injuries.