Monday morning fire damages Shenandoah Moose Lodge

Page News and Courier The Valley Banner

SHENANDOAH — Crystal McAlister woke up at 1:30 a.m. Monday to what smelled like burning rubber.

What she was smelling turned out to be from a fire at Shenandoah Moose Lodge 2176 that caused at least $500,000 damage, according to a fire official.

McAlister, who lives in an apartment above the lodge on U.S. 340 just north of Naked Creek, began coughing and saw that her apartment was filled with smoke.

McAlister, who works as the 350-member lodge’s bar manager, made it outside safely and called 911. Shortly thereafter a Page County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived, followed by personnel from Shenandoah and Elkton volunteer fire companies.

Shenandoah Volunteer Fire Company Chief Dustin Lucas said two dozen firefighters fought the blaze, which took crews about 90 minutes to get under control. He said McGaheysville and Stanley personnel also responded, while the Luray Fire Department covered calls in Shenandoah and Stanley.

Lucas gave a preliminary damage estimate of $500,000 to $750,000. Robert Davis, an Elkton resident and Shenandoah Moose Lodge governor, said the fire was contained to the “big bar,” or newer section of the building.

The addition was built in 1982, according to Shenandoah resident Harry McDorman. The building, which previously housed the Verbena Tavern, dates to 1943, according to the Page County Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office.

Dwayne Martin, emergency recovery coordinator with Paul Davis Restoration, viewed the damage late Monday morning and said it is repairable. He did not have a repair estimate.

Although Lucas couldn’t say what caused the fire, he said he’s fairly certain it began in the big bar or dining area.

The Page County Sher-iff’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.

McAlister, who got checked out by an emergency medical technician, declined further treatment. She spent the rest of the night talking to folks on scene and, as of 11:30 a.m., still hadn’t gone back to sleep. She plans to stay with friends in Elkton temporarily, as she is not allowed to live in her apartment.

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