A restaurant and event facility at a southern Manitoba golf course was destroyed in a fire on Saturday morning.
Morden Deputy Fire Chief Tim Reimer said his department got the call about a structure fire at the city’s Minnewasta Golf and Country Club around 9:20 a.m.
By the time crews arrived, the blaze in the large, timber-frame structure was fully involved, Reimer said. It took about 40 firefighters from Morden and the neighbouring city of Winkler to get the flames under control.
The golf course’s pro shop and a garage housing golf carts next door were also slightly damaged, he said.
Morden Mayor Brandon Burley said he’s thankful for the firefighters from Winkler who showed up to help battle the flames.
“These are the kinds of calls where you see the co-operation and the camaraderie in our region, and we’re very appreciative of their support,” he said.
The blaze comes just three days after Morden commissioned its first fire tanker. Burley said previously, the city would have had to rely solely on the crews from Winkler, which is 12 kilometres away.
“Those are minutes that are being wasted, right?” he said.
“If we were not able to supply water quickly in a fire of this size, we’d be in a bit of a dilemma. So it’s good to see it going into service.”
Gordon Maddock, a city councillor and Morden’s deputy mayor, said the facility had been closed because of pandemic restrictions and trouble finding management, but he hopes to see a new one erected in its place.
“We’ve had our issues with it, but we were looking forward to maybe new people going in and running the restaurant and the dining room as well,” said Maddock, who is also a member at the course.
“It is a huge loss, but hopefully insurance covers it and we can get it cleaned up and start building a new one.”
And while the loss will mean some “short-term pain” to the city and its tourism dollars, Burley said he’s glad the loss wasn’t even more serious.
“Buildings can be rebuilt, right?” he said.
The fire department is now waiting on a representative from the fire commissioner’s office to arrive and help with the investigation into what caused the blaze, Reimer said.
Since that investigation hasn’t started yet, no damage estimate is available.
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