No evidence of arson in country club fire

Almost all of the damage was to the building’s vinyl siding.

News Staff Writer

Although some people feel differently, authorities are fairly certain an early-Monday (November 16) fire that caused moderate damage to the clubhouse at Atmore Country Club was not purposely set.
“We have not determined what caused the fire, but we’ve pretty much determined it wasn’t arson,” said Atmore Fire Department Chief Ron Peebles. “There wasn’t anything showing that it was arson, nothing to indicate that any foul play was involved.”
One of the county’s volunteer firefighters isn’t so sure.
“It looks like someone set it on fire,” the volunteer fireman said in a Facebook post. “This burned the vinyl only, and vinyl does not just burst into flames. Someone apparently wanted to watch it burn.”
Two AFD fire engines and two command cars were dispatched around 3:20 a.m. to “a structure fire at the country club,” which sits on a hill beside U.S. 31, about two miles west of town.
Firefighters rushed to the site of the wooden structure, only to find the fire pretty much under control.
“There was a piece or two of siding still on fire, but it had mostly burned out,” said Capt. Daniel Love. “There were a few pieces still smoldering.”
The AFD captain said damage was relatively moderate, noting that “except for the burned siding, there was a little soot inside from where a window had been broken out.”
Reports show that AFD personnel remained at the site until 4:35 a.m. to make sure there were no further flare-ups.
ACC Superintendent Rodney Stewart had not replied by Tuesday’s press deadline to an online request for comment on the fire.

Photo courtesy Rodney Stewart/Facebook