Local News

Fire strikes camp in Bahama

Posted May 14, 2010 8:11 a.m. EDT
Updated May 14, 2010 12:50 p.m. EDT

— 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.

"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.