Nfld. & Labrador

'Total loss': Fire destroys Knights of Columbus building in Happy Valley-Goose Bay

The Knights of Columbus building in Happy Valley-Goose Bay was completely destroyed by fire early Wednesday morning.

Fire crews first called to Legare Hall on Hamilton River Road around 2:15 a.m.

Flames can be seen coming from the Knights of Columbus' Legare Hall early Wednesday morning in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. (Facebook/Robert Way)

The Knights of Columbus' Legare Hall in Happy Valley-Goose Bay was completely destroyed by fire early Wednesday morning.

The Happy Valley-Goose Bay Fire Department was first called to the hall on Hamilton River Road around 2:15 a.m., but by the time crews arrived the building was fully engulfed in flames.

"The building is a total loss," Chief Brad Butler told CBC at the scene Wednesday.

Crews were unable to attack the fire from the inside of the building, but by 6:30 a.m. the flames were doused and work on the hotspots could begin.

Sections of the roof collapsed, according to the fire chief, and there is considerable damage to the backside wall of the building.

Legare Hall, a Knights of Columbus clubhouse on Hamilton River Road in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, was destroyed by fire early Wednesday morning. (Bailey White/CBC)

No one was inside the building at the time, and no injuries have been reported.

The fire department had some concerns that the flames were blowing too close to close to Queen of Peace Middle School.

Newfoundland and Labrador Hyrdo used with their boom truck to check the school's roof and make sure nothing was burning. The school was not damaged, according to the fire department.

Legare Hall is a Knights of Columbus clubhouse that was often used for dinners, meetings and other social functions. The building had undergone a number of renovations in recent years.

There was a Knights of Columbus meeting held at the hall Tuesday night. Members told the fire department that meeting wrapped up by 9 p.m. with no sign of smoke or flames.

Damage was obvious Wednesday morning. Chief Brad Butler says the building is beyond repair. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

Emergency crews closed a section of Hamilton River Road between Green Street and Grenfell Street, near where the fire happened. The section of road was reopened again shortly after 8 a.m.

RCMP officers were seen cordoning off the area around Lagare Hall with police tape once fire crews were finished, as the investigation into what caused the fire begins.

Father Poulose Kannampilly of Our Lady Queen of Peace church (left) and Donald White, grand knight with the Knights of Columbus council in Happy Valley-Goose Bay stand by the charred remains of what used to the be the Knights of Columbus building. (Jacob Barker/CBC)

Donald White, grand knight with the Knights of Columbus council in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, told CBC that the group met Tuesday night and never thought that four decades of history were about to literally go up in smoke.

"We finished the meeting, we closed up, turned off the heat, turned off the lights like we normally do and left the building. Not thinking that we would never be able to walk into it again," he said.

"Knights of Columbus have been here in Goose Bay for over 40 years. Over the years we've seen a lot of people come and go. It's a big loss to the community to see the building gone up in flames this morning."

White said the organization spent a lot of money to renovate the building over the last few years, adding new siding, a new roof, electrical system and more.

"Over the years it's been used as a church, probably for a school and finally lately we've been using it for a gathering place for Knights of Columbus functions as well as community functions," he said.

"There's a lot of awards, a lot of memorabilia and a lot of history. Everyone in town knew our Knights of Columbus building. When you went there you were welcome. They knew when they went there they were going to enjoy themselves and have a good time."

With files from Bailey White and Jacob Barker

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