Florida Yacht Club Burns to the Ground

DeLAND, Fla. --

Investigators said early Thursday afternoon that they know what caused a fire that destroyed a yacht club in Volusia County just after midnight. Huge flames shot from the roof of the Lake Beresford Club near Hontoon Island State Park in DeLand.

SLIDESHOW:Images From Scene Of Fire

Thursday morning, firefighters were looking at the kitchen area of the yacht club, trying to determine if the blaze started there. The State Fire Marshal waited for daylight before investigating the scene, because half of the building is suspended over the water and it would be very unsafe. By early Thursday afternoon, inspectors said they believed the cause was electrical and started in a lounge room with TVs.

Those who had houseboats in the marina said flames destroyed the icon.

"It's a shame. It was a beautiful yacht club. It's old and has probably been here since the forties," said Judy Wilhelm, an eyewitness to the blaze.

There was nothing left of the Lake Beresford Yacht Club, even though Volusia County firefighters did everything they could to save the 6,000-square-foot building. Mike and Cindy Danworth were not in their boat at the time of the blaze. They received a call from a neighbor.

"She just screamed that the yacht club was on fire and that they were going to try to get their boat out," said Cindy.

Fire didn't affect the more than 35 boats docked in the marina, the cause of which was unknown.

"This whole club, the people and it's members, it's gonna be a great loss to us," added Wilhelm.

The 61-year-old building is owned by the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs and has about 250 members. They recently invested about $250,000 to renovate, specifically for a new dance floor, a new roof and a couple docks.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Office were continuing to go through debris as they work to specifically pinpoint the electrical failure they believe caused the fire.

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