An early-morning fire Friday that destroyed the Beaver Island Golf Course pro shop on Grand Island didn't deter golfers from the links.
"I thought it was going to ruin our Friday golf night," said Jody Anthony of the Town of Tonawanda nearly 12 hours after the fire was put out.
Despite the extensive damage to the one-story brick structure that housed the golf course pro shop, Anthony and other members of the Ken-Ton Golf League carried on as usual while Paul Parwulski, a cashier at the shop, conducted business from inside the starter shack at the golf course.
"Really, I thought we were going to be closed for a couple of days. I'm surprised we opened," Parwulski said.
In the background, a ladder crew from the Grand Island Fire Company continued to investigate the cause of the blaze, with assistance from investigators from the Erie County Sheriff's Office and State Police.
Authorities Friday said the fire was connected to a break-in at the pro shop. A jogger discovered the fire at about 6:20 a.m., according to Mary Murray, spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office.
By the time the first fire chief from the Grand Island Fire Company arrived, the building was fully involved.
"The building is a total loss," Murray said. Damage to the contents is at least $20,000.
State Park Police are investigating the burglary at the building.
Firefighters from Sheridan Park Fire Department provided aid, and the blaze was declared out at 7:02 a.m., a Grand Island Fire Company dispatcher said.
Half a day later, Scott Jones, of Lancaster ambled onto the course with a couple of buddies, aware that there had been a fire but assured that it would not interrupt his first golf date at the Beaver Island course.
"It's not good," Jones said, glancing at the charred wreckage. "I'm sure it's going to have an impact on the community."
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