A devastating fire at a golf course southeast of Edmonton over the weekend has affected more than golfers. The clubhouse at the Northern Bear Golf Course was also a popular wedding venue for betrothed couples.
Fire crews were called to the golf course near Township Road 510 and Range Road 222 around 3 a.m. Saturday.
Firefighters worked through extremely cold temperatures hovering around -40 C, and challenging conditions, but were unable to save the clubhouse.
Northern Bear Golf Course clubhouse destroyed in fire
The fire has left a lot of uncertainty for Janelle Gould and her fiancé. They were set to get married at the golf course this summer.
“It does stress me out, of course,” Gould said, adding the golf course was their dream location.
“It was a really cool venue and their prices were quite reasonable so we are having a hard time finding alternative options. There are a few that we’re looking into right now, so we’ve got our fingers crossed.”
Gould said the golf course was in contact with them within 24 hours of the fire to say their deposit would be returned.
“They’ve been really great at communicating,” she said.
“I’m sure we’ll find something and we’ll get married. That’s the point of it.”
Northern Bear’s general manager Blair McDowell said he was shocked by the blaze and still can’t believe his eyes after seeing the aftermath.
“Tough to see that loss, but we hope to rebuild bigger and better,” McDowell said.
In the meantime, McDowell said the golf course still plans on hosting golf tournaments like the ATB Classic.
“We do have a temporary facility coming, we do have a tent. We’ll still have tournaments. Not sure about weddings yet. Those things are yet to be determined.”
The investigation into how the fire started is ongoing, but it has been delayed due to the extreme cold.
“It was -40 C. To try to do some investigation in those conditions is not the easiest thing to do and there was still some active fire that was in play,” said deputy chief Dana Terry of Strathcona County Fire Services.
RCMP were at the scene on Monday to protect the site as crews waited for fire officials to continue their investigation.
— with files from Lisa MacGregor, Global News
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