Charles Town, W.Va. golf course clubhouse destroyed by fire

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. – A fire at Locust Hill Golf Course Friday morning destroyed the clubhouse and pro shop, and spread to a maintenance facility, causing thousands of dollars in damage, officials said.
The cause of the fire at 278 St. Andrews Drive was still undetermined, Assistant State Fire Marshal George Harms said Friday night.
A firefighter was treated and released for a minor injury at Jefferson Medical Center in Ranson, W.Va., Independent Fire Co. Assistant Chief Mike Hough said.
The fire appeared to start in the general vicinity of the pro shop in the clubhouse, Harms said.
“We do not know actually what started it,” he said.
Initially dispatched as a fire alarm it 6:47 a.m., Hough said it was reported as a structure fires about two minutes later.
Working in frigid temperatures that caused icy conditions with the equipment, firefighters were able to stop the spread of the fire where some of the golf course’s larger lawn equipment and tractors were stored, Hough said.
But the blaze resulted in a significant loss of golf carts, he said.
Ed Hannon, deputy director of Jefferson County emergency services, said the fire appeared to have started in the clubhouse and spread to a building in which chemicals used to maintain the golf course were kept.
Crews worked to prevent the chemicals from reaching any streams, Hannon said.
The West Virginia Golf Association said golf carts that were filled with gasoline exploded as the fire reached them. A total of 160 golf carts were destroyed, the association said.
Between 40 and 50 firefighters from Berkeley and Jefferson counties in the Eastern Panhandle, Frederick, Loudoun and Clarke counties in Virginia and Frederick County, Md., responded to the fire, Hough said.


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