Crossville, Tennessee's Minister's Tree House, believed to be the world's largest treehouse, burned down late Tuesday night (Oct. 22). WVLT News in Knoxville, Tenn. reports that the entire building burned to the ground in just 15 minutes after the fire started around 11:30 p.m. ET. No injuries were reported.
The Minister's Treehouse, which stood nearly 100 feet tall, was a popular roadside tourist attraction and a beloved landmark among locals. Minister and landscaper Horace Burgess built the tree house with wood scraps and recycled metal over the course of 18 years, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. Burgess said God spoke to him and told him to build the tree house.
I turned my life over to God," Burgess told the tourism website Roadside America. "And the spirit of God said, 'If you build Me a tree house, I'll never let you run out of material.'"
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Beautiful day to visit the Crossville Tree House! My grandpa knows the owner Horace who built this 100 foot tree house in the 90's and we always stop and see it with the kids when we visit. It's been closed off by the fire Marshall since it doesn't 'meet code' of a tourist attraction. But that doesn't stop my grandpa from hopping over the fence to get in. (Horace wants people to visit). Such a fun stop! If you are ever near Crossoville, it's totally worth a visit. If you look close you can see my grandpa, Robbie, and Roxy in the middle! http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/13769 #treehouse #biggesttreehouse #travel #crossvilletreehouse #Tennessee
The tree house was closed to the public in 2012 after the Tennessee Fire Marshal's office deemed it a public safety hazard.
CBS News reports that the investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.