Fire Devastates Meadowbrook Clubhouse. Twice.

Local Country Club Suffers Two Fires in 361 Days

Ashley Keaveney ('21), Orbit Contributor

Fire trucks and police cars awake the sleeping neighborhood with their loud sirens and bright lights. They arrive at the golf club to see red and orange flames ripping through the white building. The once beloved clubhouse at Meadow Brook Golf Club is now burned to the ground. 

For the second time in a year. 

Meadow Brook Golf Club, located at 292 Grove Street in Reading, has experienced not just one, but two major losses recently. Their clubhouse had two three-alarm fires, less than 365 days apart. 

The First Fire

On April 17th, 2020, residents of Reading and members of the golf club woke up to news that they never would have imagined they would read. The Meadow Brook Golf Club clubhouse had burned down. 

According to multiple sources (Boston Globe, NBC Boston 10, Boston 25, and The Patch), the fire reached 3 alarms before firefighters were able to get it under control. The fire, which occurred around 3:30 am, was reported to be from an electrical issue inside the clubhouse, and there were no resulting injuries. The 75+ year old clubhouse had  a whopping $1.5 million in damage. The clubhouse was a total loss. 

Shannon Letendre, RMHS senior and neighbor of Meadow Brook Golf Club, shared her experience and what she remembers from the fire on April 17th, 2020. “I was asleep during the fire, so I don’t remember much during it. My family woke up, well actually first my dad woke up because he heard an explosion. He looked out the window and there were flames. He’s the one who called 911 and reported the fire.” Letendre continued, sharing her reaction when she woke up. “I was in shock. I also was surprised that I slept through it. I walked down to see what it looked like that morning.” 

The golf club spent all summer, fall and winter rebuilding what had planned to be a brand new, beautiful clubhouse. 

A Second Fire

Unfortunately, tragedy struck again at the club house. Firefighters were called to Meadow Brook on April 13, 2021 around 5 am. The brand new building was under construction and just 2 months away from the anticipated completion date in June. This fire also reached 3 alarms, and as a result, the building was once again a total loss. There is still no official cause of the fire.

Letendre shared her experience with the second fire. “I was dead asleep, but woke up to a fire truck honk. I looked out my window and saw police cars flying by my house. I didn’t think anything of it, so I was about to go back to sleep, when my dad came into my room and yelled ‘Meadow Brook is on fire!’” She continued, “It felt fake. It had just happened a year ago, and now it was happening again.”  

An email sent out to club members outlined their next steps. The email states that they will rebuild a new clubhouse with the same design and materials as previously planned. They are hoping to save the foundation that was just built. As of now, there is no timeline for the rebuild, but they are hoping to start this summer. They are assuming it will be around a 10.5 month build period. 

Two fires, 1 year and 3 clubhouses later, Meadow Brook Golf Club is still standing. Members are hopeful that one day soon, they will have a clubhouse again.