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After Massive Blaze, Cleanup Work Well Underway at Pocono Manor

POCONO TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Cleanup is underway at the Inn at Pocono Manor near Mount Pocono after a fire last week. A state police fire marshal was on the pro...

POCONO TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Cleanup is underway at the Inn at Pocono Manor near Mount Pocono after a fire last week.

A state police fire marshal was on the property Monday trying to figure out what sparked those massive flames.

Fire officials spent nearly two days trying to put out the flames and hot spots.

Contractors have already started clearing what they can, but it could take weeks before it's all finished.

"We just came up to see, to see the destruction, honestly. It's sad. So many historic buildings in the Poconos are just gone. It's sad," Amy Collins said.

Investigators believe the fire started on the north side of the building early Friday morning.

A state police fire marshal is still trying to figure out a cause.

Walter McNulty lives in Archbald but in the 1970s, he worked at the inn.

"Heartbroken, I am heartbroken," McNulty said. "Part of my past is gone. Buckhill Falls, I worked at Buckhill Falls and that is gone, too."

People who have come out to see what is left of the Inn at Pocono Manor tell Newswatch 16 that they understand there is still a lot to clean up, but they are impressed with the amount that has been done over the weekend.

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"I hope they try and save some of it, some of the stonework, the original stuff. That would be nice," Collins said.

The inn was expected to close at the end of the month for a two-year renovation project.

On Sunday, owners of the building vowed to rebuild but it's unknown if the place will be back up and running by 2022.

"If they want to move forward with renovations like they said they were going to do, then it's better to get it done now," Ryan Kubishin said.

Over the weekend, Steve Ertle, who manages the Baymont Inn and Suites and the lounge near Bartonsville took in a wedding party. The group originally planned to stay at the inn.

"I immediately got on the phone with our guys and got the rooms switched over. I got in touch with the bride and made sure she was calming down and de-stressing a little bit. That is part of what we do in the Poconos. We want to make sure the guest experience is still intact. That is what is important and that is why everyone works so well together," Ertle said.

Several other resorts in Monroe County also extended offers of hotel, banquet, and office space.

"We had Great Wolf Lodge, Kalahari, Skytop Lodge, really taking the reins and getting guests within their property and handling the groups that had already been booked. We had a wedding at the Baymont, at the lounge, that was really well done. We are thrilled that our community really banded together to help as much a possible," said Chris Barrett, president of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.

The helping hands weren't just offered for the weekend. Hotel and resort managers tell Newswatch 16 that they plan to help accommodate those who planned on staying at the Inn at Pocono Manor through the end of the month.

"This is still a destination spot. To see stuff like this happen, it's good that the other resorts are jumping in and helping," Collins added.