Club members noticed smoke coming from a basement window about 9:59 a.m.
“A member told me he saw the smoke,” said Tony Fletcher, the commodore at the Toledo Yacht Club, who was sleeping on his boat at the time of the fire. “I walked half way there and saw flames shooting from the window. I came back and we called 911.”
Mr. Fletcher said $12,000 worth of remodeling was recently completed to the den area. He said the clubhouse was built in 1908 after a fire destroyed a wood-framed clubhouse that was standing for two years.
A Toledo firefighter clears debris from the area of the yacht club that was hit by a morning electrical fire.
The fire, caused by an electrical short from lighting connected to the ceiling of a basement den bar and dining area, charred the lower northwest portion of the building and shattered the windows.
Mr. Fletcher's wife, Carolyn, said about 20 people were in the clubhouse Saturday night. The club closed about 12:30 a.m. yesterday and was not scheduled to reopen until noon.
“There was no one inside [the clubhouse] when the fire started,” Mr. Fletcher said.
Chief Coleman said the concrete building's construction helped keep the fire contained to the basement area. He said the second and third floors suffered smoke damage, but that damage would have been worse and more costly to repair if the building was made mostly of wood.
Mr. Fletcher said no major activities were planned yesterday for the yacht club, which is near Bayview Park near the mouth of the Maumee River, and members were still determining the amount of damage. He said he did not know when the den area would be repaired and reopened.
No one was hurt during the fire, Chief Coleman said.