Orangeville Legion closed indefinitely after sustaining ‘major’ damage from electrical fire

February 27, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The Orangeville branch of the Royal Canadian Legion is homeless until further notice as a result of damage from a fire on Wednesday, February 19. 

The cause of the fire is thought to be electrical in nature as the flames started in the main electrical panel. 

A statement released by the Legion said contractors and cleaning companies are working to get the building back up and running.

Hydro, telephone, and internet services were restored quickly, however the general clean-up is expected to take several days resulting in the cancellation of the branch’s General Meeting. 

Legion president Barry Kimber confirmed that the fire started around 11:07 a.m.

“Water got into the main panel and it exploded,” Mr. Kimber said. “We’re not sure how it got in there. It came in through the conduit. It filled the whole place with a burnt wire smell. There was water damage and some damage from when the fire department came in. They had to knock doors open to ventilate the place.”

While no one was injured, it was fortunate that someone was in the building and able to report the fire. If the incident had occurred overnight, the result could have been a complete loss for the Legion.

“We had some ladies in here making beef pies. They make the pies and we sell them to the community. There was three of them here. They heard a sizzle and then the whole panel went up in flames. If it had happened in the middle of the night when no one was here we probably would have lost the whole building. The fire department was here very quick. They did a marvelous job. They responded quickly and got their big fans in here. With this type of fire and the contaminates that were in the air, we had to throw away all of our product. We lost all of our food and all beverages. You can’t leave it in the building and you can’t sell it because it’s contaminated. You have to side on caution. Everything has to be scrubbed. They clean it with a special chemical. They’ve cleaned our club room and cleaned every trophy and picture frame. They had to bring in a portable generator for heat so our pipes wouldn’t freeze. It’s a huge job. The good thing is no one was injured.”

The John St. building sustained smoke damage, water damage, and damage resulting from dry chemicals from a fire extinguisher.

Thanks to the quick response from fire fighters, the Legion’s collection of historic military artifacts and artwork were not damaged.

Clean-up crews were on site and were disinfecting the entire building. A smell of smoke still lingered on Monday, but they are working to eliminate that during the clean-up process.

The building had minor structural damage. The main electric service panel where the fire originated has already been replaced.

The kitchen area was hardest hit with product losses including food and beverages. There is also damage to the kitchen  floor which will have to be replaced and major cleaning done to the area.

There is no current estimate on a dollar figure as the Legion’s insurance company is still evaluating the situation and the cost of repair and replacement.

Mr. Kimber said they will hopefully be able to open the upstairs room within a few days, however the basement area will require the most work and will be off limits for the time being.

A late post on the Legion’s Facebook page stated that the upstairs room will be open as of next Tuesday, February 25.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.