PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The St. Andrews Yacht Club is looking towards the future after its building burnt to the ground. Board members gathered Thursday night to discuss what happens next.
Sunday morning the historic building burned to the ground.
“A place for our community, the community, the members to get together and stop in and see who’s here and just spend time together, it’s a comfortable place, it’s a place that the staff and the members all know each other and they’re comfortable with each other and it’s just like going home but your friends are all there,” St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club Commodore Will Cramer said.
Fire officials said based on videos, the fire began around 1:30 Sunday morning. The first 911 call did not come in until after 3 a.m. A nearby fire hydrant was not working, but fire officials knew that and adjusted their tactics.
“Our first-hand pumpers carry 750 gallons of water on the tanks so we have that availability and then if I need additional resources throughout the department, I’ll call for additional apparatus, which is again, 750 gallons per truck and if we need to go outside of that capability, we can contact the outside agencies,” Panama City Fire Chief David Collier said.
The yacht club’s insurance agency is still evaluating the costs of damages but board members are finding a way to move forward immediately.
“We’ve got committees meeting to look at what we do with the facility, in the meantime, while we rebuild the clubhouse, we’ve got committees together to gather all the memorabilia they can from people who have been members, whose families have been members, who have pictures, documents, anything, anything club-related that we can put back together and collect for the club when we reopen,” Cramer said.
Cramer is hopeful club members can enjoy food and activities in about two weeks.
“We’re looking at a tent that has a kitchen and dining, we’re looking at a food truck, we tend to find ways to make things work,” Cramer said.
Fire officials are sharing an important message to help avoid another tragedy.
“This shows the need for your facility or your business or even your residents to have an alarm monitoring system,” Collier said. “If we had received a call when that fire had first started, this would have been a completely different outcome.”
Panama City fire officials and the State Fire Marshal are still investigating to determine what may have caused the fire.