St. Charles Herald-Guide

Fire destroys 51 Willowdale golf carts

By M. Susanne Hinkle - March 15, 2006

On Sunday evening, March 12, the golf cart barn at Willowdale Country Club burst into flames around 6:30 p. m. A neighbor of the club spotted the fire and called 911. The fire department responded and quickly gained control of the blaze. According to officials at Willowdale, the cause of the fire may have been electrical.

The golf cart barn houses more than 51 golf carts, valued at $3,000 each. Each cart runs on an electrical charge and has to be plugged into a large outlet beam that runs the span of the building. Personnel at the country club believe this could have contributed to the fire.

The barn also houses chemicals such as fertilizer that may have interacted with the fire, causing additional damage to the carts.

The club had good news to report despite the loss of the barn. The barn also housed golf course equipment that managed to escape the wrath of the fire, saving the club from any additional loss.

"It is a great loss. The golf carts are the core of the club," said Patti Duplay of Willowdale Country Club. Despite the loss, new carts are on their way to the club. These carts will be gas powered and do not require charging.

“The club’s golf business will not be affected by the fire. There are 16 golf carts on the premises with more than 50 on the way,” said Ron Cantrelle, Willowdale president.

The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation by fire department officials.

Willowdale Country Club Golf Pro, Derek Sanders, stands in front of the charred golf carts.
Ann Taylor
Willowdale Country Club Golf Pro, Derek Sanders, stands in front of the charred golf carts.