Fire destroyed the clubhouse Sunday afternoon at Aintree Farms, a 180-home gated community in southeastern Germantown. No one was injured. Firefighters were called to the blaze after two residents saw smoke coming from the two-story community building at 3310 Winners Circle.
They returned with garden hoses, but the smoke had thickened and they heard breaking glass so they dialed 911, said Germantown Fire Chief Dennis Wolf. That call came in at 1:40 p.m., he said.
When firefighters arrived, they saw windblown flames shooting from the back of the structure and doused two nearby homes on Darby Dan to keep the fire from spreading. The homes were not damaged by fire.
With its centerpiece a four-story concrete silo built in 1914, the clubhouse included a meeting-dinner room, party room, two bars, saunas, exercise room and the homeowners association office.
The structure was a working barn until the late 1980s, when Aintree developers bought it and turned it into a clubhouse.
“I imagine we’ll rebuild,” said Sidney Kuehn, president of the Aintree Farms Homeowners Association, as he watched firefighters on the ground and on the city’s three ladder trucks fight the flames.
“I hope they can save the tower,” he said.
The last group event in the clubhouse was a yoga class on Saturday , which ended about 10 a.m.
Residents have keys to the sauna and exercise room on the south end of the building, but no homeowners association officials knew when the facilities were last used.
A security guard is stationed at the gate about a quarter-mile from the clubhouse. Guards do not routinely patrol the community.
The cause of the blaze and the location where it started were under investigation Sunday night.