Cart fire closes Hampshire

Published 5:02 pm Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Investigation continues to determine what caused a fire early Wednesday which destroyed the building that housed Hampshire Country Club’s golf cart fleet.

According to one report, 120 carts were destroyed and the clubhouse damaged.

The blaze closed the public golf course outside Dowagiac at 29592 Pokagon Highway, according to a recorded message.

“We don’t know if it was arson or not,” Capt. Lyndon Parrish said Wednesday evening, but investigators treated it as a suspicious fire given previous problems twice in the last month which damaged greens on one occasion and carts during a break-in.

Parrish said a Michigan State Police fire marshal had concluded his examination of the scene.

Parrish said the call came in about 2:30 a.m. Aug. 21 from a deputy on patrol.

The building was engulfed in flames, with firefighters responding from Pokagon Township, Howard Township, Niles Charter Township and Indian Lake.

There was plenty of combustible material stored inside, from fuel to cart batteries.

Hampshire offers two 18-hole courses, Hampshire and Dogwood.

Hampshire, the original 18 holes, features an open front nine and wooded back nine built in 1961.

Dogwood, the second 18-hole course, opened in 1995 with mostly wooded, narrow fairways and scenic rolling terrain.