Flames rip through local golf course

Clubhouse destroyed at Sugar Valley Country Club

On May 5, a historic barn used for storage at the Sugar Valley Country Club burned down.

On Sunday, fire ripped through the roof of the attic of the clubhouse around 3:30 p.m. at the country club, 1250 Mead Road. It then quickly consumed the rest of the structure.

The state fire marshal arrived Sunday, and has started a second investigation at the country club, Sugarcreek Twp. Fire Lt. Josh Johnson said. The investigation into the first fire is still pending, he said.

The building, which was constructed in 1900, according to the Greene County Auditor's Office online records, has been "remodeled and refurbished multiple times" over the years, Johnson said. The cause could be electrical, but it remains under investigation. There were no injuries reported.

"We do think that it possibly started somewhere in the attic," Johnson said.

A major challenge for firefighters was a lack of water supply because there are no hydrants in the area, Johnson said.

Although the weather was clear at the time of the blaze, it was breezy.

"The wind has contributed to some of the fire; however, the fire was well involved in the building before any of the crews arrived," said Battalion Chief Nathan Hiester of the Beavercreek Fire Department, one of 10 responding departments from three counties — Greene, Montgomery and Warren.

Between 50 and 70 spectators, most of them members, were either on the grounds when the fire broke out or gathered upon hearing the news. One man stood with his arms crossed over his chest, commenting he had just played a round of golf that morning. Other members said they were stunned as they watched flames devour the building.

Prospective members Bill and Kelly Stone of Centerville said they had drinks in the clubhouse, met with staff and were looking at applications on Sunday afternoon.

"We decided to play nine holes and check it out," Kelly Stone said. "Teed off, got up to the green and turned around and saw the smoke."

The fire quickly spread, she said. "The flames popped out through the roof and then it just engulfed the entire building."

The camaraderie among members and their interactions with people at the country club has only bolstered the Stones' impression of the club.

"We're still planning on joining on Monday," Kelly Stone said. "They've still got a great golf course and golf carts, and that's all you really need."

In the May fire, a historic barn, also built in 1900 was destroyed, along with Sugar Valley's fleet of 49 gasoline golf carts and golf clubs belonging to some members.

More than 50 firefighters responded Sunday afternoon to the country club, where Johnson said crews were to remain overnight to douse hot spots.

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