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Fire strikes camp in Bahama

Posted May 14, 2010

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— An early morning blaze at Camp Riverlea will not put a damper on the summer fun, a representative said early Friday.

Al Whitted, program director at the day camp in Bahama, said damage to buildings will not prevent campers from enjoying tennis, swimming and other outdoor activities beginning next month.

Fire strikes Bahama camp Fire strikes Bahama camp

"It's not about a building. It's about the 50 acres the children play on. We still have the land and the pools," Whitted said.

However, camp officials will have to replace equipment that was lost in the fire.

"We're going to have to buy new supplies, new canoes, new kayaks, archery tables, ping pong tables ... ping pong is a big hit out there, so we're going to have to replace all that," Whitted said.

Investigators have not determined the cause of the fire.

"Something in there triggered it, and that's the question of the day," Whitted said.

The summer day camp opened in 1970. It hosts about 140 kids a day from the Durham and Chapel Hill area in three sessions throughout the summer. The first 2010 summer session is scheduled to begin June 14

Neighbors of the camp, off South Lowell Road in Bahama, reported seeing smoke and flames at about 6 a.m. Within an hour, the main lodge, known as "The Shire," was burned to the ground, firefighters said.

Whitted said The Shire was used mostly during inclement weather and as a type of locker room for campers to store their gear and use the bathroom.


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  • Dreamin of Disney World May 14, 2010

    We live very close to there. I was wondering why all the sirens were blasting this morning.

  • Justin T. May 14, 2010

    Exactly, ncmickey! It'll be like going to a concert. I'm sure the kids will still have a blast and this is a great opportunity to raise fire safety awareness.

  • ncmickey May 14, 2010

    Portajohns and a tent....

  • odell May 14, 2010

    Uh, bathrooms are pretty important.