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Country Club Fire Accidental, Up To $3M In Damage

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue investigators have ruled a devastating fire that erupted at a local country club and caused up to $3 million in damage was accidental in nature.

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue spokesman Matt Little said the fire at Coral Ridge Country Club was caused by an electrical problem.

Firefighters responded to the country club, located at 3801 Bayview Drive around 3:00 a.m. Tuesday when neighbors called 911 with reports of fire and explosions.

"I looked out the window, it woke me up and I saw flames shooting out in the air, it was really blazing, then I heard small explosions," said neighbor Tony Chevy.

When firefighters arrived, they found a nearly 3,000 square foot building that housed electric golf carts completely engulfed in flames which reached 20 to 30 feet above the roof.

The 90 GPS equipped electric golf carts, worth about $540-thousand, were destroyed.

The pro shop suffered heavy smoke damage as well as a building for golf bag storage.

"There's nothing like golf clubs to a golfer," laughed club member Carol Sorrenson. "If you lose that special club, you think, 'Oh my god, I'll never find it again'."

No other areas were damaged and the country club is open for business. However, golfers will have to walk the course rather than ride in golf carts.

"The inconvenience at this moment is that some members are going to have to be carrying their clubs on the course as opposed to having the golf carts which are typically here," said Chuck Malkus of the Coral Ridge Country Club.

During the firefight, one firefighter was hospitalized with a leg injury. He was treated and released. There were no other injuries.


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