Local News

SBI Probes Carolina Trace Clubhouse Fire

Posted February 1, 2008 6:28 p.m. EST

— The State Bureau of Investigation joined a probe into the causes of a fire at the Carolina Chase country club on Thursday night.

Security guards called in the fire at the gated community's club house, 2100 Country Club Drive, at 9:35 p.m. Fire had fully engulfed the clubhouse when crews from 15 departments arrived.

Firefighters stopped the blaze from spreading by around 11 p.m. but did not finish putting out hot spots until 5:30 a.m.

The fire consumed 65 percent of the clubhouse, but no one was injured.

“While we are saddened to see the loss of such a large part of the Carolina Trace community, we are happy to have helped save a good amount of the personal property in the building, and no one was hurt during the operation,” said Todd McNeill, chief of Carolina Trace Volunteer Fire Department who headed the clubhouse fire operation.

Fire officials expressed confidence in the investigation being conducting by the SBI and the Lee County Fire Marshal's Office.

"We have an experienced group of federal, state and local fire investigators who are working to determine the cause and origin of this fire," McNeil said. "We want to ensure that proper cause is determined for this fire.

"At this time, we do not know when the investigation will be concluded," McNeill added. "However, all care will be given to ensure that the investigation is thorough."