Abandoned hotel in Clermont catches fire

CLERMONT, Fla. — A fire was reported Thursday at an abandoned hotel in Clermont.

Large plumes of smoke were seen billowing from what was once the Lake Susan Lodge near Lakeshore Drive and Osprey Point.

When Lake County firefighters got to the scene, 30 percent of the building was in flames.

"I was driving by and saw the smoke," said Randy Jones of Lake County Fire Rescue. "I turned around and came back and investigated and found that the main building in the complex was on fire."

The cause of the fire wasn't immediately known.

"It took about 20 minutes of pumping water on the flames to get the fire under control," Jones said. "However, the fire pretty much destroyed the building."

The building, which was constructed in the 1940s, has sat vacant for more than a decade.

Water caused the structure's roof to collapse in several places.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Nearby residents said the rundown building drew squatters.

Property records indicate the building's owner lives in Germany.