LAKELAND Fla. — The Lakeland Fire Department says a fire broke out around 10 p.m. on Wednesday night, destroying a clubhouse for a tightknit community in Lakeland.

What You Need To Know

  • A fire destroyed a clubhouse for a tightknit community in Lakeland on Wednesday night

  • Lakeland Fire Department says investigators believe the fire was caused by an oven range being left on

  • Thanksgiving celebration was supposed to take place in clubhouse

The incident happened near 1601 Josephine St. Some neighbors woke up to find the clubhouse fully engulfed in flames and worried the fire would spread to their homes.

Yvette Marquez, who lives across the street from the clubhouse, was asleep when the fire started, and she watched the flames shoot high in the air.

“I was worried they couldn’t control it, my house is just across the street,” Marquez said.

She says firefighters quickly arrived on scene.

“The Lakeland Fire Department did an outstanding job, they came here, and it was one fire truck after another, they were fantastic,” Marquez said.

Fire investigators say it appears an oven range was left on. They say cooking is the primary cause of fire and that you need to keep a watchful eye on everything and make sure the stove and ranges are off.

The community was set to have a Thanksgiving in the clubhouse, and food was prepared there the night before. Everything inside as well as the roof is destroyed. The community banded together and managed to have a Thanksgiving at another location.

“We are thankful it happened at night because no one was injured or hurt because material things can be replaced,” Marquez said.