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Fire destroys historic mountain hut
Saturday December 24, 2011 - Email this article to a friend

The Rifugio Guglielmina near Alagna in Italy had burnt to the ground. It was built in 1878 and provided shelter and hospitality for people in summer and winter. No-one was injured in the blaze.

The fire broke out on Thursday morning and strong winds fanned the flames. Nine people, guests and staff, were staying in the hut at the time and all escaped unharmed.

The poor weather meant firemen could not get there in time as helicoptes could not fly.

The nine watched the historic hut burn to the ground. Amoung them the owner, Alberto Calaba, who is a descendant of the family that built the refuge.

It recently opened for the winter season.

"Rifugio Guglielmina is sadly completely burned. The fire exploded in the morning and could not be stopped because the strong wind did not allow rescue workers to reach the Col d'Olen," said a statement on the hut's web site.

The hut opened in 1878 and many people stay ahead of climbing expeditions on the Monte Rosa or while ski touring. It was also a popular place for lunch as it was near the piste.

It was known for its good food, excellent wine cellar and the warmth of its welcome.

It had beds for 40 people.

Il is situated in a strategic position at 2,880m between the valleys of Alagna and Gressoney and can be reached by using the lifts.

The inside of the refuge is rustic and comfortable, traditionally furnished in the style of its period.

Efforts are now being made to contact all the people that have booked and find alternative arrangements.

People who have booked are asked not to contact the owners at the moment.

"We are working to find alternative solutions for all the people already booked there, giving priority to the earlier arrivals. For the arrivals in February and March all the guests will be contacted by the end of the week," said the owners.

The cause of the fire is not known and an investigation is under way. One report says the blaze started in the generator room.

It is not known if the refuge can be re-built.

For further information see this blog from morethanskiing.

The refugioThe refugio Guglielmina














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