Fire at Westbrook Country Club damages roof on new addition

Mansfield firefighters battled a fire on the roof of the new addition to Westbrook Country Club on Tuesday afternoon.

A fire heavily damaged the roof of the new addition at Westbrook Country Club on Tuesday afternoon.

"Fire was contained to a defined area due to the unbelievable performance from Mansfield and Madison fire departments," said Dan Niss, who owns the club with wife Brenda. "They are the real heroes as this could have been a lot worse."

Niss said the fire happened in the east wing addition and was caused by welding sparks. He said the club would be open Thursday, with repairs expected to take a few weeks. Niss credited contractor Senior Fox and local sub-contractors.

Firefighters faced a challenge with temperatures reaching the upper 80s.

"It's burning heavily through," Troy Reed, an assistant chief with the Mansfield Fire Department, said at the scene. "We're in the process of doing a trench cut to cut the fire off and save the rest of this building, and we are also in the process of protecting the other side to prevent it from going into the current country club."

Reed explained a trench cut is a wide cut designed to prevent a fire from spreading.

"It's a hot day," Reed said. "We're facing some manpower shortages. Some guys are getting overheated quick. It's a lot of work to make a trench cut."

Assistant Chief Dan Crow provided an update Wednesday morning. He said one firefighter was transported to a hospital, while several others were treated at the scene for heat-related illnesses.

"It took so much effort to try to find those little hot spots burning in that foam," Crow said. "It's really labor-intensive. It takes its toll."

Mansfield used two ladder trucks to battle the fire and called in mutual aid from Madison Township and the 179th Airlift Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard to help with manpower issues.

A number of contractors were working Tuesday. One man told the News Journal that everyone got out OK.

Westbrook Country Club opened in 1901

Westbrook Country Club has been a fixture on the city's north side since 1901. The new addition is part of a project called Westbrook Rising.

Several men sat in a golf cart at the edge of the parking lot, watching the firefighters at work, as brown smoke billowed from the roof.

Mansfield firefighters use a ladder truck to battle a fire Tuesday afternoon at Westbrook Country Club.

Mansfield police blocked off traffic in both directions on Ohio 39.

Gene Earick, a member at Westbrook, popped the trunk of his car and took in the action.

"On the way out, all these fire trucks were passing me," he said. "I turned onto Springmill (Street), and I smelled something. I thought there was a house fire.

"The smoke was billowing a lot more than it is now."

Firefighters were on the scene for eight hours. They received the call at 2:38 p.m. and stayed until 10:43 p.m.

Westbrook Country Club went through another significant fire in May 1941, when the clubhouse burned down, according to News Journal archives.

Reporter Lou Whitmire contributed to this story.


Twitter: @MarkCau32059251

This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: Westbrook Country Club's new addition damaged by roof fire