Nova Scotia

Baddeck's Bell Bay golf course clubhouse destroyed by fire

The clubhouse at the Bell Bay golf course in Baddeck has been destroyed after an overnight fire.

An excavator was brought in to reach hotspots inside the building

The Baddeck volunteer fire department chief Darren MacAulay said the blaze began around 12:30 a.m. Sunday and soon engulfed the building. (Byron Phillips)

The clubhouse at the Bell Bay golf course in Baddeck has been destroyed after an overnight fire.

The Baddeck volunteer fire department chief Darren MacAulay said the blaze began around 12:30 a.m. Sunday and soon engulfed the building.

"You could see the flames in the sky before you left Baddeck … or you could see the glow in the sky," he said.

MacAulay said the 34 fire fighters from three departments knew it was going to be a devastating fire.

Sky was orange

"The sky was orange, completely orange. When we landed there it was fully engulfed, it was all you could see," he said.

"Extreme heat from the fire, it was really bad, we couldn't save it, but we saved the golf cart barn and all the other surrounding buildings."

Victoria County Warden Bruce Morrison said he was on scene about 1:30 a.m.

"By the time I got there, the fire was, the building was pretty well down … it was very unfortunate to witness something of that magnitude." 

Crews remain on the scene. An excavator was brought in to reach hotspots inside the building. MacAulay called it a hard fire to fight.

Fire out around 6:30 a.m.

"There were so many rooms and so hard to get at. That's why we had to get the excavator in to get it under control or get it out," he said.

There were no injuries and MacAulay said the fire was declared out around 6:30 a.m.

On the Bell Bay golf course Facebook page, operations manager Eric Tobin said the course will be closed until further notice while staff evaluate the damage.

"We are committed to getting back to regular operation in the coming days," he said.

Busy course

Morrison said it is a real loss at this time of the year.

"It's a huge loss with the start of the busy tourism season and a busy golf season, so that's certainly going to have an effect on the operation of the facility," he said.

Morrison also predicts there will be a loss for the community.

"It's a very busy golf course, it's a new golf course and for Baddeck, when people come to visit Baddeck, it usually adds a couple more days to their stay when they come to visit the community," he said.

RCMP said late Sunday morning, the fire marshal and officers were on the scene investigating and no cause had been determined.

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