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Blaze damages weight room at Westwood

Official: Cleanup at complex could take weeks, if not months

Published: Monday, May 6, 2013 2:41 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 2:10 p.m. CDT
(Philip Marruffo/
Firefighters bring out smoldering pieces of a wall this afternoon at Westwood Sports Center in Sterling. An early-afternoon fire that started in a maintenance equipment room caused smoke damage to a weight room at the complex.

STERLING – Westwood Sports Center was evacuated Monday afternoon when a fire broke out in a maintenance room.

The Sterling Fire Department was called about 12:45 p.m. to the complex at 1900 Westwood Drive.

Officials said the fire started in the maintenance room and caused smoke damage to the weight room. No one was hurt.

The state fire marshal is investigating the fire’s cause.

The fire was reported under control about 1:15 p.m. Fire departments from around the area responded.

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Margo Dravis, Westwood’s manager, said she heard an explosion.

“I ran down to where it was, and the area was already engulfed in flames,” she said. “It was a very good team effort by everyone who was here.”

Few people were using the center at the time because of the warm weather, Dravis said.

Larry Schuldt, executive director of the Sterling Park District, said the agency would have a restoration company clean the facility. The track end of the complex sustained no damage, he said.

He said the preliminary plan was to clean the weight machines and move them to the track part of the complex to have a “makeshift fitness center.” Cleaning up the other side of the building will take weeks, if not months, he said.

Schuldt said if the fire had to happen, this was the ideal time because far fewer people use the complex during the summer.

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