KIAWAH ISLAND - Dark, black smoke and ominous red flames rose high into the sky above the slate roof of the picturesque River Course Clubhouse Wednesday, destroying what was once considered the crown jewel of the island's golf resort.
The fire fed on the 36,000-square-foot clubhouse for several hours, overwhelming firefighters from the St. John's Fire Department who doused the flames from high atop ladders that hovered just a few feet above the flames.
Officials were still at the scene late Wednesday, unavailable to answer many questions surrounding the blaze, including how it started and how the fire was able to rekindle several hours after firefighters initially responded to a fire call there about 3 a.m. Wednesday.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, said Mike Touhill, public relations director for Kiawah Development Partners
He said firefighters first responded to the fire alarm at 3 a.m. near the men's locker room. A sprinkler system knocked down the fire and firefighters were able to finish what the sprinklers didn't extinguish, Touhill said.