VILLA HILLS, Ky. — A fire destroyed a Northern Kentucky community activity center that's been around for more than 60 years early Thursday morning.
The fire started at the Villa Hills Civic Club on Rogers Road just before 3 a.m. and was under control at 4:30 a.m., according to firefighters.
Fire investigators said the fire started in the rear of the building on the back porch, then spread to the building. No one was hurt.
Crescent Springs-Villa Hills Fire Chief Jeff Wendt said that wind conditions hampered firefighting efforts and contributed to the rapid spread of the fire.
Mike Martin, Villa Hills Civic Club director, said the building was built in 1961 and is a center of activity for the community. The club has hosted countless events for the community through the years. Martin says, like many institutions, it struggled financially during the pandemic, but they were turning things around.
"I almost want to cry. But again, nobody got hurt. That's the major thing," Martin said, "I believe, just standing here without any information of course, that we're going to rebuild. We'll come back, better and stronger, and it'll be a lot of labor doing that. Everybody knows that has gone through tragedy, you put it into perspective."
Wendt said the building is considered a total loss with an estimated at $320,000 in damage to the structure and an additional $130,000 in damage to property inside the building.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
We’re on the scene of the Villa Hills Civic Club fire. The place is a total loss and we’re learning about just how much it means to the community. You’ll hear from a longtime director and get the latest on the investigation coming up at 6:30. pic.twitter.com/iiNNCVepJA— Kristen Swilley (@KristenSwilley) February 17, 2022