An electrical fire was put out quickly late Friday night at the historic in Studio City.
Firetrucks first responded an hour earlier when guests attending a party in a banquet hall thought they smelled smoke, but found nothing. Later, when called back a second time, they discovered a minor electrical fire within the walls, said Battalion Deputy Chief Peter Benesch of the Los Angeles Fire Department Battalian 14.
"We did about a one-hour search trying to locate the source of the smoke, but couldn't find it. We returned after about an hour and discovered that they did have a fire in a wall," said Benesch. "It looks like it's going to be ruled electrical. The fire was confied in that wall, and it trigged the sprinklers in the attic area of the banquet hall, so we had some water damage there."
At least a dozen large firetrucks surrounded the Lodge in the 12800 block of Ventura Boulevard, near Coldwater Canyon Avenue. On the scene, fire hoses and ladders are on the roof of the far west side of the hotel.
Ventura Boulevard was completely blocked from Coldwater Canyon to the , and by midnight, the roads were opened up and the trucks have left the area.
The 49-year-old building is on the site of a hotel that dates back to 1880. It is known as the place where stars such as John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford and many others stayed and played. Clark Gable is known to have loved to catch trout in the fishing pond and Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis were among the regular diners there, and famous local resident Gene Autry threw many parties in the buildings now used as conference center.
Recently an Equinox gym was approved to be built as part of the complex.
Benesch talked about the difficulty in locating the fire in the old building.
"It's kind of a maze of buildings in there. You think you have it from this side, and then you think you have it from the back side, but it was actually in the middle, so that was the difficult part of it," said Bennett.
See additional photos in the photo gallery by Studio City photograph Michael Corral, of www.michaelcorral.com.
Also check out Mike Meadow's photos inside the Sportsmen's Lodge on Flickr.