The fire at the SPJST #48 Lodge in Beyersville, that happened July 16, was ruled an accident by the Williamson County Fire Department, and could cost $200,000.
An investigation was initiated shortly after the fire was reported to the Williamson County Fire Marshal’s Office on July 16 and was completed in the afternoon of July 17.
Public Affairs Manger Connie Odom said the county determined the fire was accidental.
“The fire marshal’s office makes a determination based on a systematic fire scene examination and the totality of circumstances surrounding a fire incident,” she said. “Our office determined the origin of the fire based on an analysis of fire patterns, fire dynamics, and witness statements. All competent ignition sources in the area of origin fell within the accidental category and there was no indication of any natural or incendiary cause.”
According to Odom, the fire damage was most severe in the attic space near the air-handling unit.
The lodge was started in the 1890s as a way to help rural community members get insurance. It also helps community members with loans for building homes and buying land.
President of the lodge Robert Leshikar said he’s meeting with an engineer to determine the lodge’s future.
“I’m meeting with a structural engineer to get an estimate, and we’re looking at two bids,” he said. “We’re trying to see how much everything [will be and what to do next].”