Fire destroys Daylesford's Boat House Cafe

HEPBURN Shire Council hopes to rebuild Daylesford’s iconic Boat House Cafe after it was destroyed by fire on Saturday night.

The landmark cafe on the shore of Lake Daylesford went up in flames about 10.20pm on Saturday, tearing through the entire building.

Little remains apart from the front facade of the building and the damage bill is expected to total hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Up to 30 firefighters battled the blaze for almost two hours, but stood little chance of saving the building.

Hepburn Shire mayor Bill McClenaghan said the fire would have a massive effect on Daylesford.

The building was restored in the early 1990s and has become a Daylesford institution ever since.

“It will have a significant impact on the town and tourism in the area,” said Cr McClenaghan.

“Every photo you see of the lake has the boat house on it. It’s going to be an eyesore beside the lake for some time now though.”

Cr McClenaghan said insurance details still needed to be sorted out and the cause of the blaze had to be determined.

The building is located on Crown land and is owned by council and the Department for Sustainability and Environment.

“People are pretty shocked, it’s one of Daylesford’s most famous buildings so to see it destroyed is terrible,” said Cr McClenaghan.

CFA region 15 duty officer Arj Conroy said fire crews were called in from a number of different stations in the Daylesford area.

He said although the building could not be saved, crews did well to prevent further damage to a nearby toilet block.

“It was too hot to get in there and fight it from the inside,” Mr Conroy said.

“There were a lot of plastics, oils and things inside that took off.”

Police taped off the building yesterday as investigators tried to establish the cause.

patrick.nolan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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