Fire crews checking for smoldering embers at Milburn

Fire crews spent this morning dousing hot spots and checking for smoldering embers at the Milburn Golf & Country Club in Overland Park.

The fire on Monday spewed flames for hours, and high winds whipped smoke that could be smelled miles away. It started about 4:30 p.m., possibly on the clubhouse’s second floor, but authorities didn’t know what sparked it.

The club, at 7501 W. 69th St., was heavily damaged. It took five hours to get the fire under control.

No one was injured. The club had been closed Monday.

Officials were investigating a report that a roofing crew working at the club started a small fire about an hour before, Overland Park fire spokesman Jason Rhodes said in a statement. That fire was not reported, he said.

Built in 1917 on the Strang Line Interurban Railway, the club drew city visitors who rode the line to play golf. Downed by fire in 1932, the club came back, and these days it has hosted tournaments where local golfers tried to qualify for the U.S. Open.

Dozens of people lined Santa Fe Drive on Monday night, watching firefighters struggle to tame the three-alarm fire and recalling memories of Christmas parties, wedding receptions and summer days spent swimming and golfing there.

Club leaders were trying to learn the extent of the fire’s damage Monday night. Although the clubhouse sustained heavy fire and water damage, crews were able to keep the pro shop intact, Fire Chief Bryan Dehner said Monday evening.

High westerly winds fanned the flames and made the blaze difficult to control. Crews had to bring water from a long distance because there were no nearby hydrants.

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