The community hall in Irishtown-Summerside, which housed the town office and space for meetings and recreational events, was destroyed by fire Thursday morning.
The volunteer fire department for the community on the north shore of the Bay of Islands got the call around 3 a.m. from a resident of Corner Brook, who reported seeing flames from across the bay.
Ironically, the volunteer fire department, which got assistance from the fire department in neighbouring Meadows, is located right next door to the town hall. Despite a quick response, little could be done to save the wooden structure that was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters could respond.
No one was hurt in the fire and Mayor Clarence Diamond said most of the town records were diligently backed up on computer discs that were kept in another building.
A home on the other side of the hall was not damaged, although a vehicle parked in the driveway was coated in soot and ash.
The hall is about 30 years old and was the home to many community organizations and was a regular venue for community events in the area.
The exact cause of the fire is still being investigated, but Fire Chief Rick Parsons suspected the fire started towards the rear of the building since that was the area that had sustained the most damage.
The Fire Commissioner’s Office is currently on scene, conducting a joint investigation with the RCMP.