Despair at loss of Penrith icon

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Police have established a crime scene at the Log Cabin following last night's devastating fire that has destroyed a Penrith icon.


Tributes have flowed in all night for the long-standing hotel, which was destroyed after fire took hold at around 9.10 last night.


"Police from Penrith Local Area Command as well as NSW Fire and Rescue attended the scene and found the premises well alight," police said in a statement.


"About 100 people were evacuated from the premises however no-one was injured."


Police say the scene will be examined by fire investigators and specialist officers.


"The cause of the fire has not yet been established," they said.


Photo: Jay Johnson Photography

Long-time Penrith businessman Graham Chapman was on the scene of the fire last night and comforted owner, Ross Sinclair.


"I was blessed to play a role in assisting the owner Ross Sinclair through this devastating time, he was obviously very distraught watching his beloved log cabin go up in flames before his eyes," Mr Chapman said.


"After the initial shock he was comforted by family."


At least one wedding was due to be held at the venue today, but the reception has been re-located to Centrebet Stadium's Chairmans Lounge in a true show of community spirit between Log Cabin staff and the team at Panthers.


"The bride was staying there last night and was devastated last night," Jim Wenman, a friend of the groom, wrote on the Weekender's Facebook page.


Mr Chapman said a Penrith icon had been destroyed.


"Yes there is insurance but nothing changes the fact that we have lost not only a landmark but the most amazing memorabilia inside the loggy," he said. 


"Let's just pray they saved the world war 2 flag which was locked inside the safe!"


Many in Penrith are reflecting on yet another fire – just a fortnight after Harvey Norman went up in flames.


"First Fantastic Furniture, then Harvey Norman now Log Cabin…. fingers crossed this is the last of the losses in the Penrith area. Heartbreaking for the custodians of this historic venue," said Jem George on the Weekender Facebook page, where hundreds of locals have expressed their devastation at losing the Log Cabin.


Crystal Smith said: "Such a beautiful place gone, lovely arvo drinks by the river gone."


Another local, Megan Townes, said the Log Cabin never went out of fashion.


"I'm sure we've all shed a tear and raised a glass to the Log Cabin tonight," she said.


"High Bar, Uncle Bucks, Peachy and even Panthers have gone in and out of fashion over the years but the trusty Log Cabin has always been there, from Christmas Eve to Sunday sessions to fond farewells. What will we do without her?"


Rosie Miller was amongst the many locals who've been married at the historic hotel.


"Very sorry and sad to hear about the Log Cabin, thoughts are with Mr Sinclair at this time," she said. 


"My husband and I were fortunate enough to get married at the Log Cabin and it was such a beautiful wedding, perfect venue and the staff were absolutely wonderful. Lots of great memories."


Photo: Jay Johnson

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the fire started from a faulty downlight.


Today, Penrith is shedding a tear at the loss of an incredible icon that holds good memories for anyone who lives, or has lived, in this part of the world.


Proving just what an affinity the hotel had with the area, the stories on the Log Cabin fire have become the most viewed in the Western Weekender website's history, while there has been unprecedented levels of activity on the newspaper's Facebook page at

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