Report: Propane tanks and heater may have caused Oakland Hills clubhouse fire

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Investigators investigating a fire that destroyed a century-old clubhouse at Oakland Hills Country Club in suburban Detroit have recovered two propane tanks, a propane heater and a propane torch.

The February 17 fire tore through the roof of the structure, which was built in 1922. The fire started in the attic of the pavilion and quickly spread through much of the building. No one was hurt.

Firefighters found signs of fire in the back wall of the building, which was under construction, according to police reports obtained by the Detroit Free Press. Bloomfield Township Fire Marshal Peter Vlahos said workers were using a torch and propane heater near the building.

Club officials said the clubhouse would be rebuilt.

Oakland Hills opened in 1916 and has hosted six US Opens. Ben Hogan won it in 1951.

Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer won the US Senior Open in Oakland Hills. Gary Player won the 1972 PGA Championship. Europe won the Ryder Cup there in 2004 and Padraig Harrington became the first Irishman to win the PGA Championship in 2008.

The club has two courses. The South’s most famous course recently underwent a $12 million renovation project in hopes of attracting more majors. She recently won the US Women’s Open in 2031 and 2042.

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