Electrical Issue to Blame for Fire at Reading Golf Club

The fire at the Meadow Brook Golf Club in Reading destroyed the clubhouse, officials said

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An electrical issue is the cause of a three-alarm fire that broke out at a golf club in Reading, Massachusetts, early Friday morning.

Crews were called to the closed Meadow Brook Golf Club just before 3:30 a.m. where flames had consumed the clubhouse.

The clubhouse has been standing on Grove Street since its inception in the late 1800s. The building housed a restaurant, locker rooms and offices, members said.

Reading firefighters, with mutual aid from Saugus, Wakefield and Woburn, arrived to help put out the flames. The building was destroyed in the fire and damages are estimated to be $1.5 million, fire officials said.

"Obviously, you can see it almost looks like a missile went into the building," said Kate Coppins, a member of the golf club's board of directors.

Not only was the building destroyed, she said, but 120 years of memorabilia.

"A lot of history, a lot of artifacts. All of the championship plaques, a lot of photos. It has our office, so it has all the history of Meadow Brook in there."

Fire crews were still on scene as of 9:30 a.m. working to extinguish hot spots.

"It's all combustible construction, it's all old construction, so the fire is moving throughout the void spaces," Reading Fire Chief Greg Burns said.

The state fire marshal's office said no one was in the building at the time and no firefighters were injured battling the blaze.

The building had been set to reopen May 4 if the governor's order closing non-essential businesses had been lifted, but its future is now unclear.

Following an investigation, the fire marshal's office determined that the fire began in a void space in the ceiling between an office and a kitchen and burned undetected. The flames then traveled up the exterior of the building.

Authorities believe an electrical fire disabled the fire alarm system and by the time the flames were noticed by a neighbor, it was too late to contain.

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