Fire guts Moose LodgeA malfunctioning cooler was the cause of a Thursday morning fire at the Moose Lodge in Superior.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
A malfunctioning cooler was the cause of a Thursday morning fire that gutted part of the interior of the Moose Lodge in Superior, causing an estimated $150,000 in damage.
The Superior Fire Department was called to the site, 66 E. Fifth St., at 2:39 a.m. Battalion Chief Scott Gordon said the fire had been burning for a while prior to the call. Heavy smoke was coming out of the building when firefighters arrived.
No injuries were reported.
It took about an hour for the three engine companies and battalion chief to put the fire out, but they remained on the scene until 5:42 a.m. battling hot spots.
A cooler behind the bar in the social area was the cause of the blaze, Gordon said. While the exterior of the metal structure building remains intact, the fire completely gutted half the interior – including the bar and office area. In addition, firefighters had to tear into walls and the dropped ceiling to put out the fire. That often happens when the fire has a good head start, Gordon said.
Members of the lodge were on site Thursday morning, waiting for a chance to enter the building and assess the damage.
“We’re planning on opening back up,” said Troy Magnuson, governor of Lodge 606.
“Just as quickly as we can,” added Chuck Christenson, deputy regional manager for the Wisconsin Moose Association.
In the meantime, the Belgian Club has opened its doors to the Moose.
“They’re going to help us out,” Christenson said.
All activities scheduled for the Moose Lodge, including Monday night bingo, will now be held at the Belgian Club, 3931 E. Second St. Anyone with questions about activities that were scheduled at the lodge can call Duane Carlson at (715) 398-7791.
The building, Superior Moose Family Center 606, has been home to the fraternal order since it was built in 1974. The Superior lodge currently has about 500 members between the Loyal Order of the Moose 606 and the Women of the Moose Chapter 795. The building has been the site of fish fries and dances, wedding receptions and children’s parties, bingo and community service projects.
“There’s a lot of history in the building,” Christenson said.
He and Magnuson were optimistic that much of the memorabilia in the banquet hall area, which sustained only water and smoke damage, could be salvaged. Gordon said the fire and water damage to that side of the building was minimal. The lodge is valued at half a million, according to the battalion chief.
“We’re figuring we saved $350,000,” he said.
The lodge is also the polling site for the city’s 5th District.
City Clerk Terry Kalan said that polling sites can be moved in case of an emergency. She plans to bring a resolution forward to the City Council next week to relocate temporarily the 5th District polling site to the 7th District polling site at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College, 600 N. 21st St., for the Nov. 2 election.