BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WKRN) – Fire destroyed the clubhouse at Indian Hills Country Club in Bowling Green on Saturday night.
Bowling Green Fire Department Chief Jason Colson said his agency received a call at 7:39 p.m. from an employee who reported a loud pop and that the sprinkler system had activated.
By the time firefighters arrived, flames were visible from the outside.
Firefighters attempted to access the building, but flames spread across the entire length of the building in the attic area, causing firefighters to retreat, Colson said.
“Fire investigators are here interviewing people on-site and trying to determine a cause,” Colson said Saturday night.
The roof collapsed at some point during the blaze, and smoke was visible to motorists on Cemetery Road.
A total of 27 BGFD personnel responded to the fire, Colson said.
At some point, the BGFD started experiencing water supply issues and requested assistance from Alvaton and Gott volunteer fire departments, Colson said.
While firefighters attempted to control the fire from the front and one side of the building, several onlookers gathered behind the clubhouse to take in the destruction up close.
Indian Hills President Bruce Fane said one employee and two club members were in the building at the time the fire began. Fane said the people heard a popping sound and walked around the building attempting to find its origin, eventually attributing it to a light fixture.
The three people were able to escape unharmed, and Fane said he came to the site after receiving a text message.
“At first we didn’t think it was that bad when we learned what happened, but it went up quickly,” Fane said. “By the time I got here, it was evident the building was going to be gone.”
Fane, a 25-year member at Indian Hills, spoke with city fire investigators and commiserated with club pro John Mullendore while the fire raged.
The club’s board of directors plans to meet Sunday to discuss plans for the short-term future, which might include bringing trailers and temporary offices to the site.
“We’re family here, we come together when we have to and we’ll do it again after this,” Fane said Saturday. “The rebuilding begins tonight.”
The country club was established in 1956 on land overlooking Barren River and hosts numerous tournaments throughout the year, as well as wedding receptions and other events.