Fire investigators have determined that the cause of the fire at Land of the Loon resort at Anglin Lake Tuesday morning was likely caused by a lightning strike.

It was a rude awakening for owners of Land of the Loon. The main building – a conference center and restaurant - at the resort was burned to the ground in a blaze.

“It’s devastating. To have something that used to be a thing.. a place that you lived and worked and experienced.. is just a big ball of flames. It’s a hard thing to process,” said Dylan Greening, one of the owners of Land of the Loon resort.

The Lakeland Fire Department was dispatched shortly after 4 A.M. on Tuesday morning and arrived at the scene by 4:37. Fire Chief Chris McShannock says the building was fully engulfed in flames by that point – the roof was down and the fire had reached all points of the building. Investigators don’t know what caused the blaze. Nobody was inside at the time of the fire, and it was contained to one area of the resort, which also has cabins, other buildings and a marina.

“When we arrived here in the morning, a lot of the people who were staying nearby were up and away on the road. They were already packed up and were accounted for.. so that helped us considerably,” said McShannock.

The lodge was built in 1998, but the family-owned resort has been open at Anglin Lake for 41 years. Owners say the restaurant was closed last summer, but had just re-opened again on the July long weekend.

“We were serving dinner there last night. I was there until 11:30 last night just closing up shop.. so this is very sudden and shocking,” said Greening.

“We’ve been here through thick and thin. It’s our home – for four generations. So anything like this is pretty hard to take.”

The resort will stay open, but owners say it is still too early to decide if they can, and will, rebuild the destroyed lodge.