DUBOIS – A fire that destroyed the DuBois Country Club on Feb. 24 has been ruled accidental in nature, reported the state police at DuBois. The Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Unit and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) conducted a joint investigation into the fire.
State Police fire investigators recovered video surveillance equipment from the debris. It was in place and in operation at the time of the fire. As a result, it was examined at the Pennsylvania State Police Regional Crime Laboratory in Harrisburg and any recordings, which led up to and after the fire, were recovered from hard drives.
Video surveillance, state police said, showed the fire ignited in the storage room that’s located off of the kitchen area after the business closed Feb. 23. The fire smoldered for several hours before erupting into flames, which spread throughout the business for more than 45 minutes.
At this point, flames started breaching the roof of the DuBois Country Club and produced a call to 9-1-1. The business was neither equipped with a fire alarm nor a sprinkler system, state police said. Further investigation revealed that materials contained in the storage room were prone to spontaneous combustion.
The fire, state police, appeared to ignite in the area of those materials. State police noted that surveillance video showed there wasn’t any direct or intentional human involvement in starting the fire; the business had also been unoccupied for several hours prior to the fire.
Damage is estimated at more than $2.5 million, according to state police. The DuBois City Fire Department, Clearfield County Emergency Management, an ignitable liquid detection K-9 from Dauphin County, Nationwide Insurance Company, Bloom Electric and numerous owners and employees of the DuBois Country Club assisted the Pennsylvania State Police and the ATF with the investigation.