Deana Newcomb
July 11, 2011 at 07:51 PM EDT

Over the weekend, the historic Corbett, Oregon landmark The View Point Inn — or as its known to Twihards, the location where Bella Swan and Edward Cullen’s prom scene was filmed for Twilight — was damaged by a three-alarm fire.

Tom Layton, the fire chief for the Multnomah County Fire Department (one of the four companies to respond to the blaze), confirmed to EW that the fire, which was dispatched to their company at 11:49 a.m. on Sunday, July 10, is no longer under investigation and has been declared an accident. The fire was caused by particles from the fire place going up through the chimney and on to the hotel’s roof. 

The blaze did sizable damage to the beloved structure Layton explained to EW, including heavy damage to the roof, and the attic and third floor have been “gutted.” While Layton said the building itself “appears to be structurally sound”, water and smoke damage have destroyed some of the lower levels of the Inn. A wedding that was scheduled for 5 p.m. had to be quickly relocated to a new location by the Inn’s owners.

Sadly, it’s not the first time the Inn has endured damage and heartache., which has footage of the blaze, spoke with the Inn’s owner and operator Geoff Thompson, who told them, “It was almost gone so many times before through ruin and neglect.” He continued, “A little fire isn’t going to stop me. Unfortunately, this is a big fire.” Thompson then added that when it came to needing help to fix the Inn, “I can’t do it by myself.”

In fact, Thompson had been asking for assistance even before the fire occurred. On the website for The View Point Inn, there is a page where guests and admirers of the hotel can make donations to restore the structure. The page titled “Help Save The View Point Inn,” reads, “We need help keeping the door’s open. Our roof is leaking. The chimney is falling down. We need some basic help keeping this great property open. Our goal is to get every person to donate just $1. Just imagine how far that would take us in saving The View Point Inn. We need help with the historic preservation of this fantastic building.” As of July 11, the donation option on the website was still available.

While Thompson could not be reached by EW, Layton told us that Thompson and his business partner Angelo Simione are “working to try and help everybody” who had reservations to stay, or scheduled a wedding, in the coming weeks. While there is no official word on when, how, or if (things like insurance can factor in) it can be done, Layton confirmed that he heard Thompson “plans to rebuild” the structure.

While the Inn has been an Oregon landmark for years, it took a whole new meaning for a younger generation when Catherine Hardwicke used it as the prom scene, a romantic moment for Edward and Bella, in 2008’s Twilight. Since then, the Inn has become a must-visit for fans who visit the region and the hotel has held Twilight-related events, including tours, slumber parties, release parties, and even has a themed menu which includes Bella ravioli and a Forks burger.

On The View Point Inn Facebook page, saddened enthusiasts of the hotel and Twilight fans posted messages like, “So sad to hear about yesterdays terrible fire! We absolutely LOVE the View Point, and will do whatever we can to help!” and “I absolutely love The View Point Inn and visit it every time I come to Oregon. I hope you all can rebuild without any issues!” Much like them, Layton told EW, he’s “hopeful” The View Point Inn can be repaired, adding, “it would be a shame to see it not [fixed].”

Read more:

‘Twilight’ central

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