HOPEWELL, VA. (WWBT) - Demolition is underway on the Hopewell Moose Lodge after fire ripped through the building destroying it in February.
In the early morning hours of Feb. 28 every fire unit was called to the building on Western Street, along with assistance from Fort Lee and Prince George County.
Fire officials ruled the cause of the fire as “undetermined,” but believe it started in either the kitchen or the laundry room.
On Thursday morning, demolition crews began the process of tearing down the building.
“(There’s) excitement,” said Brad Ozmore, administrator with the Hopewell Moose Lodge. “This is the start of the future.”
For more than 50 years the Hopewell Moose Lodge served the community in many different ways.
“I would describe it a legacy,” Ozmore added.
The building that has sat sidelined for nearly two months will now be reduced to rubble over the next two weeks.
Heavy equipment was used Thursday to tear down the brick walls, but the memories embedded in those bricks won’t be forgotten.
“They cling to those memories and they come in here and sit and talk about it,” Ozmore said. “Tell stories about the things they hold from the past but also hold that optimism about what the new lodge will be.”
That brand-new lodge will be resurrected on the same property.
“We’ve done a lot of things in the last 50 years and we’ve got a lot more things to do,” Ozmore said.
Lodge leaders are also focused on ways the community can take a piece of the old Moose with them.
“When we’re ready, we’re going to have a fundraiser where if someone wants to purchase a brick on behalf of the Hopewell Moose Lodge then we’ll be more than happy to help them accommodate that,” Ozmore said.
They’re also focused on ways to thank the Hopewell firefighters who did what they could to save as much as possible.
“If they didn’t know it by now, when we have the grand opening we have a space for them here,” Ozmore said.
The group anticipates a possible opening of the new lodge in July or August of 2020.
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