Watch CBS News

World's largest treehouse burns to the ground in Tennessee

The Minister's Treehouse — reportedly the largest treehouse in the world — has burned to the ground after a raging fire. The Tennessee landmark went up in flames late Tuesday night, and officials were unable to save it.

Cumberland County Fire Rescue said the entire building turned to ash in less than 15 minutes, CBS affiliate WVLT-TV confirmed. Locals watched as the fire erupted around 10:30 p.m. local time. The house collapsed just as emergency services arrived.

BREAKING NEWS: Take a look at the flames still burning at the site of the iconic Minister’s Tree House in Crossville. People watching nearby said it only took 15 minutes for the whole thing to burn to ground. Crews have since left the scene.

Posted by WVLT on Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The Minister's Treehouse was an iconic landmark in Crossville, Tennessee. It was built by Horace Burgess, an architect-turned-pastor who said he was inspired by a vision from God.

The structure was closed to the public in 2011 for safety concerns, but had previously been a tourist destination. It stood nearly 100 feet tall and had 10 stories that spread across seven trees, complete with balconies and staircases.

Though the structure has been officially closed for many years, it was allegedly trespassed frequently by vandals.

The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing, Cumberland County Fire/Rescue officials said.

The treehouse built by Horace Burgess is shown in Crossville, Tenn in 2007. Jae S. Lee / The Tennessean via AP
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.