FREEDOM – A plan to rebuild the recently burned Cedar Canyon Lodge Restaurant near Alabaster Caverns is under way.

The restaurant, which was destroyed by fire early Saturday morning, will be updated and larger that before, said Anita Rennebohm, one of the co-owners of the lodge.

“A new buyer came and bought the other part of the lodge and restaurant and now has become co-owner of this establishment with me,” said Rennebohm. “We plan to open the lodge as a retreat for fire and police across the nation and use some of the 2,000 acres we have behind the park to be used for a police and fire training facility.

“The restaurant will be reopened and open to the public but the lodge will be for police and fire officials only.”

The new co-owner of the Cedar Canyon Lodge and Restaurant is former Los Angeles Police Officer Terry Dezvonick of Las Vegas, Nev. According to Rennebohm, Dezvonick is owner of Ten4USA and is in the working to open several police and fire retreats across the nation. He is currently working to purchase property in Nevada to open a retreat there as well, and according to Rennebohm, the retreat in Nevada will be much like the retreat near Alabaster Caverns.

“We want to stress the restaurant will be open to everyone and it is just the lodge that will be for police and fire retreats only,” said Rennebohm. “We expect to be serving customers again in a make-shift restaurant in four to six weeks and hopefully have the new restaurant open and functional by June 1.”

As for the fire which destroyed the restaurant, officials have ruled out foul play as the culprit.

“We have determined that the cause of fire is not known at this point and will be ruled as undetermined,” said Tommie Rhoades of the Oklahoma Fire Marshal’s Office. “Arson, insurance fraud, and other criminal activity have been eliminated as possible motives for the fire. We believe the fire started in the northwest corner of the building and moved from there.

“The structure was made of timbers throughout and the timbers all had a finish on them. When the fire started the timbers and finish helped fuel the fire so quickly. The damages for the blaze are estimated to exceed $800,000”

The Freedom Fire Department responded to the fire but was unable to keep the blaze from destroying the structure.

“We arrived at the scene around 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning with the fire already consuming all of the structure,” said Dustin Rankin, fire chief in Freedom. “Our fist priority was to make sure none of the flames reached any of the grass surrounding the structure to prevent the fire from spreading throughout the park.

“After we secured the fire from reaching the vegetation around the structure we turned our attention to the structure itself. However, the structure was already too far consumed by the blaze to save it.”

The Alva Fire Department was also called to the scene but, according to Rankin, when it arrived the structure was already lost.

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