August 16, 2022

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Oakland Hills Country Club catches fire, suffers 'serious' damage

Oakland Hills Country Club catches fire, suffers ‘serious’ damage

Bloomfield Town A massive fire Thursday caused “extensive” damage to the Oakland Hills Country Club, according to Bloomfield Township Fire Chief John Leroy, complicating the future of an ornate and historic facility that once hosted major national golf tournaments.

Leroy said people at the club alerted firefighters to the smell of smoke at 9:17 a.m. Firefighters used thermal imaging cameras and drilled inspection holes in the ceiling to find flames in the attic. Leroy said it was hard to find the cause of the smell in such a large building. The club area is 110,000 square feet.

The sumptuous club was engulfed in the middle of the morning by a fire of astonishing size. The fire had lost some of its power by mid-afternoon, but by 6:20 p.m., it had grown again on the south end of the building, which is set to host more golf tournaments in the next decade.

“It’s a tough, tough day,” said Rick Palmer, president of the Oakland Hills Club. “It really is a devastating day for Oakland Hills, for the golf community, for our members, for our employees. There is so much history. But yes, no one was injured and everyone got off the premises.”

He described the rear of the building as “non-recoverable”.

Auckland Hills has a history dating back more than a century and is highly regarded in the golf industry.

The club is also a museum, of sorts, displaying photos, paintings, trophies, and other artifacts from the major leagues over the years. A trophy case near the front entrance displayed replicas of championship cups won by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan.

Both Palmer and LeRoy praised the firefighters for saving a large number of artifacts at the club.