Clubhouse needs total rehab after weekend fire
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 1:00 PM
Lake Caroline Golf Club pro Kyle Sisk had been at the clubhouse with his 4-year-old son Chandler for 10 minutes Saturday morning when he smelled something burning - and it wasn't breakfast.
The burnt remains of the Lake Caroline Clubhouse.
Several golfers were enjoying their first meal of the day before heading out onto the course, but this didn't smell like the cook was burning the bacon.
"I was standing in the pro shop talking to a couple of people when we all commented that it smelled like something was burning," Sisk said. "I went upstairs to my office, and the smell grew stronger."
Sisk then went to the attic, where he saw a six-foot flame extending from the floor up along the inside of the roof.
Fire destroyed the club house and fire investigators have released no details as to the cause yet.
He retreated downstairs, and ran into club-owner Randy Watkins at the bottom of the stairs. "We've got a problem," he said.
Watkins and Sisk returned to the attic with fire extinguishers, but after the flames survived those efforts, it was clear they weren't going to be the ones to put out the fire.
"We scrapped and hustled," Watkins said. " We were able to save a couple of things, but once the fire department arrived about 10 to 15 minutes later, it was time for us to get out of the way."
Although the Gluckstadt Fire Department fought it, the fire engulfed the building, which appears, at this point, to be a total loss. Luckily, the clubhouse was the only building that took damage. No one was hurt, and neither the cart barn, the carts themselves, or the course suffered any damage.
Within hours, the course was open and by Sunday a temporary trailer housing restrooms was already on site.
Investigators from the fire department and insurance adjusters still have work to do, but Watkins said Tuesday he's allowed himself to start thinking about the future.
"I have thought about it, and I have a good idea of what I want to do," he said. "But I am going to take my time and really research it before I jump into it. I know for sure I want to take advantage of that scene overlooking the 18th hole - maybe a big veranda up there so people can sit outside and enjoy the view.
"One thing's for sure - we're going to rebuild."
In the meantime, Sisk said they expect to operate out of the office trailer for a couple of months while the new clubhouse is built, but pointed out that the course was never closed, not even during the fire.
Until phone lines go back up, golfers can make tee times at Lake Caroline by calling either Whisper Lake Golf Course or Patrick Farms Golf Club.