Speaking of fires, Brother Mark Wright in Washington, D.C. reports that the Masonic bodies in Washington's Georgetown neighborhood had a very close call in the pre-dawn hours this morning. The building immediately adjacent to the Georgetown Masonic Center had a major fire that fortunately does not seem to have spread to their facilities.
From Mark's message:
"The building next door to the lodge hall rented by the historic Potomac Lodge No. 5, Benjamin B. French No. 15, the Georgetown York Rite Bodies, and several other lodges, had a major fire that started on the second floor of the building. Potomac Lodge had a devastating fire in 1963 that resulted in them selling their building and land and taking a 99 year lease on the third floor of the newly constructed building, which is used exclusively for Masonic purposes.
"Potomac's lodge archivist Chris Ruli and several other officers have been up in the building inspecting for fire damage, particularly checking rooms and storage areas nearest the burned building, and they believe they have not suffered any losses (the famed George Washington gavel on loan/display at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center).
"The firefighting efforts created quite a mess in Georgetown traffic this morning, as the water trickled down Wisconsin Avenue and into the major Wisconsin and M Street intersection, where it promptly froze in this morning's low temperatures!"Several news reports and videos were posted throughout the day.
Thankfully, the irreplaceable historical items of Potomac Lodge and the other five lodges, plus the appendant bodies, that have inhabited the Georgetown Masonic Center remain safe. The next time you're in the Washington, D.C. area, be sure to visit the Georgetown Masonic Museum.