Fire crews rescue memorabilia from burning Oakland Hills Country Club: ‘We have some priceless items’

Clubhouse believed to be total loss

Fire has destroyed the historic clubhouse at the Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township. The reports of a fire came in at 9:17 a.m. Thursday (Feb. 17). Firefighters broke holes in the ceiling and discovered the entire attic was ablaze. The fire spread quickly and was still burning as of 5 p.m. Dozens of community firefighting crews were out all day, trying to fight the fire. Most of the building and the priceless bits of memorabilia and art have been destroyed.

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Fire has destroyed the historic clubhouse at the Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township.

The reports of a fire came in at 9:17 a.m. Thursday (Feb. 17). Firefighters broke holes in the ceiling and discovered the entire attic was ablaze. The fire spread quickly and was still burning as of 6 p.m. Thursday.

Read: Fire destroys historic clubhouse at Oakland Hills Country Club: ‘It is heartbreaking’

Dozens of community firefighting crews were out all day, trying to fight the fire. It appears the clubhouse is a total loss. Club officials say they are going to be able to rebuild in due time. The building was built in 1922.

Oakland Hills Country Club is the second largest wooden-framed building in Michigan, behind only the Mackinac Island Grand Hotel.

Most of the building and priceless bits of memorabilia and art have been destroyed -- but crews were able to save some memorabilia before the fire got bigger.

“Christine had the war room inside my Escalade and we shed some tears and I mean, it’s that emotional,” club president Rick Palmer said.

Christine Pooler is the Chief Operating Officer. They’d just rebuilt the clubhouse. Pooler and her staff were outside the building as firefighters searched for the source of the fire. Before the blaze spread, Pooler and her staff worked with firefighters to rescue some memorabilia.

“They allowed our staff to stand at the front of the building and as they ran out with things we were able to retrieve them. And so we have some priceless items that we are really fortunate to still have and some of our trophies that are really important to our membership,” Pooler said.

The club says it has lots of other buildings and other facilities that have not been lost. So, while there is a lot to do in terms of figuring out how much damage they have, they say the club will be able to rebuild and carry on.

Read more: Oakland Hills Country Club ablaze in Bloomfield Township

It appears to be at least a total loss in the club house.
A country club in Oakland County appears to have caught fire on Thursday.

About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.