A fire that started in a closet near the dining area of the United Auto Workers Local 2164 union hall resulted in extensive damage but no injuries.
Union officials said the fire started Sunday while a youth football team was having a party at the facility.
Adults at the party used fire extinguishers to keep the blaze from spreading until Bowling Green Fire Department firefighters arrived.
UAW Local 2164 President Brian Ferrett said firefighters arrived within 10 minutes and got the fire under control before it could spread beyond the kitchen and dining hall areas.
Ferrett said “75 to 80” youths and adults were attending the party for the football team, but he said everyone was able to escape out a rear entrance.
Katie McKee, public information officer for the Bowling Green Fire Department, said seven trucks were dispatched to the fire at 2:56 p.m.
Because of fire, smoke and water damage to the kitchen and dining areas, events scheduled for the union hall through the end of the year have been canceled.
“We’re open for day-to-day business, but we’ve canceled everything at least until the first of January,” Ferrett said.
Smoke odor and soot were still evident Tuesday. Union officials said several pieces of kitchen equipment will need to be replaced. Preliminary estimates indicate the damage could exceed $150,000.
Ferrett said video footage from security cameras at the union hall is being used in the investigation.
McKee said BGFD investigators are working to determine the origin and cause of the fire.
In the meantime, Ferrett said he and his staff are trying to find a venue for the union’s annual Christmas party.
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