|SAN ISABEL -- An early morning fire destroyed a gift shop and outbuilding at Bishop's Castle, 5 miles north of here on Colorado 165.
According to Custer County Sheriff Shannon Byerly, his office was alerted to the fire shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday. Fire crews from Rye and Wetmore responded to contain the blaze.
The fire destroyed a gift shop and an outbuilding located to the south of the castle, but did not damage the castle or surrounding forest.
"We were very fortunate we had snow on the ground. The fire tried to creep uphill, but only singed some pines and aspens.
"Had this been last week, we would have had a mess on our hands for sure," Byerly said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation but, "we don't suspect arson. It was possibly an electric issue," Byerly explained.
Bishop's Castle was built by Jim Bishop and has become a popular tourist attraction. The 160-foot tall structure has been Bishop's life work since 1969.