Fire Destroys Clubhouse at Horse & Hunt Club in Prior Lake

Updated: 12/31/2013 7:19 PM
Created: 12/31/2013 10:36 AM
By: Cassie Hart

A fire destroyed the clubhouse building at the Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club in rural Prior Lake Tuesday morning.

The Prior Lake Fire Department responded to a two-alarm fire around 6:15 a.m. Crews arrived to find the main and lower level of the bar, dining room and clubhouse completely engulfed in flames.

Bill Urseth, the owner, is heartbroken.

"I live right next door so I got the news pretty early and, there's a profound sadness that comes with something like this," he said.

Early Tuesday deputies were first responding to an intruder alarm. But that assessment quickly changed.

"A deputy in route saw the flames from a distance. So that was the point when they paged us out," Chief Doug Hartman of the Prior Lake Fire Department said.

When fire fighters got on the scene the restaurant was engulfed in flames and smoke. It took them nearly 6 hours to get the fire out.

Firefighters dumped burned guns in the back of a truck.

There were no injuries reported and no one was in the building at the time of the fire, according to officials. No animals were lost in the fire.

The club, located at 3300 220th St. E. in Spring Lake Township, hosts major shotgun sporting and hunting events throughout the year.

The scheduled Minnesota State Pheasant Championship scheduled for Jan. 4-5, 2014, will go on as planned.

A New Year's Eve celebration that was planned to take place in the bar and restaurant has been canceled. To help out members who won't have a place to eat and celebrate, Urseth has partnered with the Chart House in Lakeville.

"We offered to help them out. We have a relationship with them, we're happy to try and accommodate anybody they had that was supposed to go there tonight to come here if they want," Chart House owner Josh Ruppert said. 

Urseth says, he thankful for the help of his neighbor. He says, it puts him at ease that some of his members will be taken care of.

The state fire marshal is investigating the cause.

Photo courtesy of Joe Wiita

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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