Oxnard, CA – Overnight fire at golf course clubhouse contained with help from sprinkler system

Thanks to the quick response of the Oxnard Fire Department and the help of fire units from the city of Ventura, Ventura County and Santa Paula, River Ridge Golf Course was spared any serious damage from a fire that broke out in the early morning hours last Thursday.

The fire, which was initially reported at 2:35 a.m., was located on the exterior portion of the west side of the clubhouse building which is on the opposite side of the pro shop.

Fire crews had the flames basically out by 3:12 a.m.

“We got lucky,” River Ridge General Manager Otto Kanny said. “The pictures looked pretty spectacular but we’re fine. We got a great response from the fire crews so the fire was contained on the west side exterior of the building.

“We had a lot of cleanup and patching up, tedious stuff like that and trying to get the stink out. But we got really lucky.”

When Kanny arrived that morning he said there were at least 20 firetrucks battling the blaze. It started on the farthest corner of the outside railing of the building and the flames worked their way up the pillars on the outside of the patio on that side of the building.

But thanks to the firewalls on the outside of the building, the sprinkler system and the quick work of the firefighters, the area the fire got into was minimized.

“The fire got within four feet of getting to the drapes in the banquet room,” Kanny said. “Had that happened, the fire would have climbed into the attic and that point we would have lost half of the clubhouse. We were very fortunate.”

The last of the fire crews left at 6 a.m. and Kanny said the first golfers started arriving at 6:30.

They had no power until 11 a.m., but Kanny said the pro shop staff and the rest of the River Ridge crew did yeoman’s work in making sure customers were taken care of and that golfers were able to play Thursday.

Because of the water used to put out the blaze, the banquet facility is not operational. As word got out about the fire, people in the golf business, such as Eric Burton at the city of Ventura and Saticoy Country Club general manager Phil Lopez called and offered any help they could provide.

“It was amazing to see the outreach from people in the community,” Kanny said. “With the help of others in the community we were able to hold all of the functions that were scheduled this weekend.”

Kanny said there is no word yet on what caused the fire and there is a good chance the exact cause will never be determined.

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