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Fire destroys Camp Champions meal hall

Camp Champions in Marble Falls

A fire on Oct. 23 destroyed the dining hall at Camp Champions in Marble Falls. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

A fire burned through the dining hall at Camp Champions, 775 Camp Road near Marble Falls, during the early morning hours of Monday, Oct. 23. No one was in the building at the time.

Marble Falls Fire Rescue, Granite Shoals Fire Rescue, Marble Falls Area Volunteer Fire Department, and Horseshoe Bay Fire Department all responded to the scene after a 2 a.m. emergency call placed by a Camp Champions staff member.

“One of our staff members woke up, noticed the fire, and thankfully called 911,” said Camp Director Erec Hillis.

Authorities have not yet determined the cause of the fire.

“We have every indication that it was some type of accident,” Hillis said. “There was nobody cooking or in the building at the time.”

The damage won’t affect plans for the camp in the summer.

“We are going to rebuild the dining hall,” he said. “We will be open next summer.”

Hillis is grateful for the quick response from the crews that put out the blaze. 

“The fire departments were spectacular,” Hillis said. “They were here really quickly, helped contain it, and prevented it from spreading to any other buildings.”

The community’s support has also been welcome.

“Blue Bonnet Cafe came yesterday and delivered lunch to our staff,” Hillis said. “We were all here scrambling around trying to figure out next steps during an obviously hectic day, and they called and said that they had heard about the fire and asked if they could bring us lunch. I thought that was amazing.”

While reporting this story, Chick-fil-A Highland Lakes also offered staff a free meal.

“We put in an order with Chick-fil-A in Marble Falls to feed our staff lunch today (Tuesday),” Hillis said. “They took the whole order and then said, ‘We heard about what happened, and your order is comped for today.’ We didn’t ask, we didn’t mention the incident, they just offered.”

The experience has highlighted the community’s response to crises, Hillis said.

“It’s heartening that we live in such a strong community,” he said. “They made a hard day easier for us. We didn’t ask for it. It’s nice to know that we live in a place where people care and respond. We’re really grateful for that.”

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