ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — It’s still not clear what caused the Annapolis Yacht Club to go up in flames over the weekend.

Jessica Kartalija has more.

Laura Carlisle still can’t believe what she saw.

“The flames were just so dramatic. It’s sad,” she said. “So very sad.”

Saturday’s fire destroyed the historic building, sending two responders to the hospital.

Lisa Craig is the chief of historic preservation for Annapolis.

“The Yacht Club, since its founding in the late 1880s, really has been a central gathering place for boaters, sailors, those interested in maritime,” Craig said. “It’s really a central gathering place for a lot of people in the city and beyond.”

Though renovated in the 1990s, the building didn’t have a sprinkler system.

Historic artifacts like trophies, model ships and paintings were destroyed in the fire.

“My heart dropped. My dad was a member. Coming here when I was young, he taught us table manners and how to order here. Lots of memories,” said Louisa Kelbaugh McMorrow.

Governor Larry Hogan and Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides have vowed to help the club rebuild quickly.

“It’s unfathomable the loss that we have here,” Hogan said.

“Obviously it’s disappointing but the opportunity is there to work with them to rebuild something that will continue to support the community and its membership,” Craig said.

The club has publicly committed to financially support its 150 employees, whose jobs may be displaced by the fire, through the holidays.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, according to Captain Janet Wiseman of the Annapolis Fire Marshal’s Office.


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