DUBOIS — A release issued by DuBois-based Pennsylvania State Police on Wednesday said that a joint investigation was conducted between the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal Unit and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Pittsburgh Field Office, ruling the fire that destroyed the DuBois Country Club on Feb. 24 accidental in nature.
PSP fire investigators recovered video surveillance equipment from within the fire debris, and the surveillance system was in place and operating at the time of the fire, the report said. The system was examined at the PA State Police Regional Crime Laboratory in Harrisburg.
Surveillance recordings leading up to and after the fire were recovered from hard drives within the system, and the video evidence shows that the fire ignited in a storage room located off of the kitchen area after closing on the evening of Feb. 23.
The fire smoldered for several hours before erupting into flames, and the flames spread throughout the building for more than 45 minutes before breaching the roof area and producing a call to 911.
The report said that the building was not equipped with a fire alarm or a sprinkler system, and the video surveillance system and interviews
of employees revealed that there were materials in the storage room that were prone to spontaneous combustion.
The fire appeared to have ignited at the location of those materials, and the video evidence recovered shows that there was no direct or intentional human involvement in creating a fire.
The building was unoccupied for several hours prior to the fire.
Damage is estimated at more than $2.5 million.
The DuBois City Fire Department, Clearfield County Emergency Management Agency, an ignitable liquid detection K-9 from the Dauphin County District Attorney’s office, Nationwide Insurance Company, Bloom Electric and numerous owners and employees of the facility assisted PSP and ATF with the investigation.