NORTH WEBSTER, Ind. - Fire destroyed Redwing, one of the cabins at Epworth Forest Conference Center in North Webster, Ind. on Jan. 14. The building was not occupied by guests and no one was injured during the fire.
Epworth Forest is one of four camp sites of the Indiana United Methodist Conference in North Indiana. Each summer, the grounds are home to week-long senior high ministry events, a special needs camp for more than one hundred unique adults, and a camp for at-risk children in partnership with Royal Family Kids' Camp.
During the other nine months of the year the building is rented to groups wishing to build community through retreats.
Shortly after lunch one of the facilities crew at Epworth Forest saw flames inside the window of the Redwing cabin and began emergency processes. Fire crews from North Webster, Syracuse and Turkey Creek Townships came to battle the blaze.
Shane Hartman, camp director, said the building was a total loss. It had the capacity to house 34 guests.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined. Epworth Forest maintenance crews had been working in the building during the past 24 hours due to frozen pipes. Heat damage to nearby Northstar cabin is apparent, but appears as if the lodge will be available for occupancy this spring.
Redwing, a deep red two-story cabin, located in the horseshoe, is often the home to 25 students of each week at summer camp. It is used by a number of groups for retreats as well. Plans are underway to move forward in providing housing for groups that may be displaced by this fire.
For more information about Epworth Forest and other North Indiana UM campsites, log on to www.impact2818.com.