Dec. 31--A Tuesday morning fire likely destroyed the restaurant and main lodge of the Minnesota Horse & Hunt Club in Prior Lake, officials said.
No injuries have been reported in the fire, which was reported via an automatic alarm around 6:15 a.m. Tuesday, Scott County Sheriff Kevin Studnicka said. No other buildings were at risk, he said. The fire was mostly extinguished by late morning, according to officials with the Prior lake Fire Department.
Despite the events, officials with the 1,000-member club vowed to have its outdoor facilities open Thursday.
Fire hydrants are not located near the building on the 600-acre shooting club and hunting preserve, so firefighters from Prior lake and neighboring communities were forced to truck in water to battle the blaze, Studnicka said.
"It appears that the building will be an entire loss," he said, referring to the lodge-style building that is home to Trigger's Saloon & Supper Club and hosts weddings and other events. The cause of the fire remains unclear. Studnicka said foul play doesn't appear likely. There were no tracks on the fresh snow anywhere near the building, he said.
Erik Goettl, director of sales for the club, said the fire will force the club to abandon its annual New Year's Eve wild game feed. The club's offices were located in the building, but range facilities access to the fields and woods themselves are largely unaffected.
"The plan right now is for the outdoors to back up and open Thursday," Goettl said. "The most important thing is nobody was hurt."
Founded 1983, the club offers an array of activities for sportsmen and -women, including rifle, trap and skeet shooting ranges and sporting clays courses open to the public. Members can hunt for pheasant, chukkar partridge, Hungarian partridge, quail, wild turkey and waterfowl.
Such facilities, licensed by the state, offer hunters the ability to practice their and their bird dog's skills year-round.
Dave Orrick can be reached at 651-228-5512. Follow him at twitter.com/OutdoorsNow.
Copyright 2013 - Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.