Lightning strike destroys 75 golf carts

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The golf cart maintenance building, along with 75 carts, burned down Wednesday evening at a Virginia golf course due to a lightning strike.

A Suffolk city official said that the emergency call came in at 7:50 p.m.

Firefighters arrived at Sleepy Hole Golf Course at 7:53 p.m. and found the building fully engulfed in flames. The fire was contained only to the building and was out at 8:40 p.m.

The building was destroyed. A total of 75 golf carts were left in ashes.

No injuries were reported.

Thursday morning, the barn was little more than a pile of rubble. The charred frames of the vehicles were left sticking out from where they had been parked.

Officialssaid the cause of the fire has been ruled natural in nature, caused by lightning.

Director of Golf, J.T. Belcher, estimated the equipment was worth $375,000.

“Who knows on the other part of the building. We haven’t even dove into that. It’s just too soon to tell,” he said.

He was grateful the fire happened after-hours.

“We’ll move on. It’s nothing that we can’t handle. The golf course is in great shape, so that’s your lifeline. Golf carts can be replaced. The greens are good. Everything is good,” he said.

A fleet of carts from Ricky’s Custom Carts arrived Thursday morning. Belcher said Sleepy Hole will rent them for now, helping the course get through tournaments Thursday and Saturday.

“All still a go. Everything’s going to be just continuing like it always has,” Belcher said.

Three years ago this weekend, 30 golf carts at Sleepy Hole were damaged from vandalism, according to staff. Belcher said he has no reason to believe Thursday’s fire is suspicious.

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