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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Arson Suspected in New Zealand Lodge Fire


The Masonic lodge in Te Awamutu, New Zealand was destroyed by a suspected arson fire this morning.

From the New Zealand Herald:

A fire that destroyed a building in Te Awamutu early this morning is believed to have been deliberately lit. 
A hall at the Masonic Lodge was destroyed by fire at 2.15am. 
"The building was well-involved in fire when we first arrived," Fire Service shift manager Jaron Phillips said. 
"Firefighters searched the building [but] it was totally smoke-logged. The building next door was smoke-logged as well. 
"We have two fire investigators ... at the scene now. They'll be investigating the cause [and] it's being treated as suspicious." 
Firefighters managed to save a larger neighbouring building by dampening down hot spots on its roof. 
Mr Phillips said there was no early indication of what started the blaze.

1 comment:

  1. Tragic. I wish I could say I have faith that the authorities will make every effort to find the culprits, but I don't.

    Many years ago the Masonic building in Waltham, Massachusetts was burned down by an arsonist who was never caught. It was a beautiful building from "the golden age of fraternalism," with a massive hall, huge ceilings, and a classic mosaic pavement floor. It was all very suspicious, for years the bank next door had been trying to buy the property so they could raze it and expand their parking lot, and in the end they were able to get it at a "fire sale" price. The city refused to issue permits for the building association to rebuild in the same location, which of course contributed to the bank getting the property for cheap because you don't have much leverage when the government isn't allowing you to use your own land. They agreed to rebuild in another part of town, bought the land, hired (and paid) an architect, got the permits...and then at the last minute the permits were yanked with no explanation. The lodges that met there were eventually forced to move to Newtonville, severing their connections to the Waltham community.

    Dave
    Garden City Lodge, Newtonville, MA

    ReplyDelete

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