Moose Lodge fire ruled accidental

Page News and Courier

SHENANDOAH — Last Monday's fire at the Shenandoah Moose Lodge 2176 was ruled an accident, after an investigation by the Page County Sheriff's office.

"We don't presently have any involvement," said Major Philip Baker. "Our fire investigator investigated the scene. An accidental cause could not be eliminated. Besides him looking, there was no investigation."

The fire occurred around 1:30 a.m., May 16. Crystal McAlister, who works as the lodge's bar manager, lived in an apartment above the Moose Lodge and woke up to her home filled with smoke. She made the initial 911 call.

It took 24 firefighters around 90 minutes to put the blaze out. The building was insured, with an initial damage estimate of $500,000 to $750,000, according to Dustin Lucas, Shenandoah Fire Department Chief.

"There were some electrical components that appeared to be the cause," Baker said. "It appeared to start in a junction box above a drop ceiling."

The Shenandoah Moose Lodge 2176 is located on U.S. 340 north of Naked Creek. The lodge serves around 350 members. At press time, the lodge was still closed due to smoke and fire damage.

Efforts to contact Earl Davis, Shenandoah Moose Lodge Governor, were unsuccessful.

Carol Griffin, Secretary of the Luray Moose Lodge 1413, expressed her sympathy for the Shenandoah members.

"It's awful what happened," Griffin said. "It was just an accident; we're hearing it's electrical. Thank God nobody was hurt."

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