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Fire Focus: Blaze Offers Reminder To Prepare


By Ryan Berlin Fire Safety/Protection
roof collapse

The possibility of a fire in a commercial or institutional facility never seems far away, give the complexity of facilities and the activities of occupants and visitors. Given this possibility and the requirements on maintenance and engineering managers to comply with local fire codes, it is essential for managers to have a plan in the event of a fire to protect occupants and visitors.

One commercial facility — a country club in Redford, Mich. — recently received a sobering reminder of the impact a fire can have. The nearly 100-year-old Western Golf and Country Club was destroyed by a fast-burning fire. The fire broke out in the early morning and quickly consumed the clubhouse, according to WWJ Radio. It appears the fire started in the kitchen area and spread through the building, though a cause was not immediately clear.

The fire department received a call at about 5:30 a.m., and crews were met with heavy smoke and fire inside and had to exit and go "defensive" because of the age of the building and the fire load inside, Scott Demoff, the local fire chief, told the Detroit Free Press .

"I'm not going to say it's a kitchen fire, but that could be where the origin could've been," Demoff says. No injuries were reported.

"None of our employees or members were hurt and thank God, no firefighters were hurt," says Andy Arena, the club's vice president. "We'll move our staff down to other buildings and, as you see, the golf team is out there working on the course and the pool will be open as soon as we can. This is a resilient club, and we will rebuild this clubhouse. But I guarantee you this weekend there will be golfers on the course."

This Quick Read was submitted by Ryan Berlin, managing editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

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