A fire Thursday evening destroyed a home used by the Keswick Club to house workers.
It took firefighters about three-and-a-half hours to extinguish the blaze at 850 Black Cat Road, which was called in to authorities shortly after 9 p.m.
Neighbors gathered to watch. The flame and smoke formed a stories-tall column that was visible from a distance across the countryside.
No one was home when the fire broke out, and no one was killed or injured, said Matthias Smith, the club’s resident director.
Fire marshals are still investigating, and hadn’t made any determinations about the fire’s cause, said Albemarle County spokeswoman Lee Catlin.
The structure was about 50 percent gone by the time firefighters arrived, said Dale Bryant, assistant chief of the East Rivanna Volunteer Fire Company.
“It was pretty fully involved,” he said.
Fire officials drove across a lawn to access the fire, and had to move water from distant hydrants using tanker truckers and portable pools.
Most of the house was reduced to a pile of glowing rubble.
The debris, which fell atop the structure’s basement, made extinguishing the fire difficult, Bryant said.
“We do know that the house will be a total loss,” Smith said.
The club bills itself as “an exclusive country club with golf course, spa and other sport facilities.”
Smith said the home, not on the Keswick Club grounds, was one of two the club uses to house international management trainees and temporary interns.
The fire displaced one person but the club was able to find space in the second home, Smith said.
The cost of the fire isn’t yet known, and the club hasn’t decided if it will rebuild, Smith said.
Albemarle County police and a variety of fire companies responded to the fire.