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Fire destroys lodge's meeting place

FIRE BELIEVED to have been started by an electrical short-circuit completely destroyed a building, which was being used for lodge meetings along King Street in Spanish Town, Wednesday night.

According to Deloris Lawrence, 66, caretaker for the property on which the two-storey building is located, she received word some time after 9:00 p.m. that the structure was on fire.

Mrs. Lawrence was not sure whether the building was insured, but said it was valued at over $7 million.

She said that had a fire unit arrived the building, comprised of four large rooms and a large meeting hall, and its contents ­ 50 metal chairs, appliances and furniture ­ could have been saved.

Mrs. Lawrence who stays at the building occasionally and who was not on the compound when the blaze started, told The Gleaner that residents in the area told her they saw smoke coming from the building at about 7:00 p.m. following the return of electricity, which went earlier in the evening.

One resident who was on the scene told The Gleaner that when the fire had just started he alerted the Spanish Town Fire Department, but was told that no fire unit was available to go to the scene.

The Old Harbour Fire Station was then called but that unit did not get to the scene until about 10:00 p.m.

Mrs. Lawrence said she had received word from Old Harbour that the lone fire unit was out fighting another blaze in St. Catherine, hence its late arrival at the scene.

Mrs. Lawrence asserted that had a fire unit arrived the building, comprised of four large rooms and a large meeting hall, and its contents - fifty metal chairs, appliances and furniture - could have been saved.

She was not sure whether the building was insured, but said it was valued at over $7 million.

The Spanish Town Police are carrying out investigations into the fire.

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