EAST DUBUQUE, Illinois (KWWL) – Owners of the Lacoma Golf Course in East Dubuque are looking at options to rebuild after a Thursday fire.
Below-freezing temperatures added extra challenges for the firefighters on scene. The cold being the cause of injury to one East Dubuque firefighter.
“She slipped on some ice that was formed from water runoff and hurt her arm, so we took her over to get checked out,” said Jim Heim, East Dubuque fire chief.
The winter fire destroyed part of the clubhouse at the Lacoma Golf Course. With its rolling hills, the golf course have been a family operated affair for decades.
Co-owner Sarah Cunningham said while they are thankful the fire didn’t claim any lives, it took away some memories.
“There’s some nostalgia but we’re, number one, grateful, incredibly grateful, that everybody got out. Even though this weather is not super cooperative, it is better to lose a part of your golf course in the winter than the summer,” said Cunningham.
Chief Heim said the remote location also presented a problem. The nearest fire hydrant was 2,000 feet away.
“When we get to this part of town, this area doesn’t have any fire hydrants so we had neighboring departments shuttling water in,” he said.
He said the other departments kept up with the demand for water, keeping any worries of having enough water at bay.
However, he said fires this time of year can be a challenge in themselves. Dropping temperatures mean freezing water. That, in turn, means freezing equipment.
“When you get the run off that you get from the water and with the cold freezing temperatures, it’s easier to freeze,” he said, “We were able to get the city crew up here to throw salt so we had most the areas covered that would help with the slip injuries.”
Cunningham said walking away from the golf course after such a tragedy would never be an option. She said they will rebuild in the near future, whether it be in the same building or a brand new one.
Another firefighter had minor injuries. Chief Heim said the firefighter suffered from minor smoke inhalation.
Both injured firefighters were taken to a nearby hospital where they were treated and released a short time afterward.