published Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Tennessee shuts down 'Minister's Treehouse,' declares it a hazard

Multiple decks, staircases and balconies wrap around an oak tree in a tree house created by Horace Burgess in Crossville.
Multiple decks, staircases and balconies wrap around an oak tree in a tree house created by Horace Burgess in Crossville.
Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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  • photo
    Tourist Dimple Achey, left, takes a photograph as Taelor Reagan padlocks the gate leading to Horace Burgess' treehouse in Crossville. The treehouse has been ordered closed by the state fire marshal for safety reasons. Achey was hoping to visit the popular attraction and says she intends to call the fire marshal to protest the closure.
    Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. - A huge treehouse built by a Crossville minister has been closed by the state Fire Marshal's Office.

The popular attraction built by Horace Burgess of Crossville as a ministry became in Internet sensation as the Minister's Treehouse.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported a gate to the parking lot was padlocked by state officials on Aug. 30.

Burgess said he received a certified letter last week ordering him to close the treehouse to the public as a matter of safety. State officials did not return a call to the newspaper when a reporter sough comment.

Burgess said about 1,000 people per week visited his 100-foot-tall treehouse.

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