The Oddfellows Hall on 476 Knowlton Rd., in Knowlton, was destroyed in a devastating fire in the early morning hours on Sunday.
“We received a call at 5 a.m.,” said Brome Lake Fire Chief Pierre Laplante.
Laplante added that the fire appeared to have started in the front of the building and migrated up the wall to the roof and then spread quickly throughout the building.
It is a passer-by which alerted firefighters to 5h after seeing flames coming out of the front of the building. The building, dating from 1952, was fully ablaze when firefighters Lac-Brome arrived on scene a few minutes later.
"The fire spread quickly through the structure. It was very unstable and it could collapse at any time. We could do nothing to save the building. It was a very intense fire, but fortunately nobody was injured, "said Pierre Laplante, Director of the Fire Department of Brome Lake. Engineers have Cowansville, Sutton and Waterloo came to help. The present 80 firefighters were able to control the blaze around 6:30.
Bernard Gravel, president of the society of Odd Fellows Lac-Brome, who owns the building since 1983, learned the bad news a few minutes later. "A fire like that, a few days of the holiday season, it strikes!" He said, visibly shaken. He said that the book reservations for the community hall was busy during the Christmas and New Year's Day there was a also held a few hours before the incident.