Liverpool Lions Club sustains damage after basement fire

by Brittany Wentzell

  • <p>BRITTANY WENTZELL PHOTO</p><p>Firefighter Naaman Barton at the Lions Club shortly after smoke in the building was discovered.</p>

The Liverpool Lions Club sustained damage after a small fire broke out in the building's basement.

The Liverpool Volunteer Fire Department was called to the Church Street building after a club member called 911 shortly after 9 a.m. on October 16.

Terry Whynot, a club member who also cleans the building every second week, had showed up in the morning to let a plumber into the club. When he arrived the building was full of smoke. It was discovered however, that the fire had put itself out.

"Where we had the doors all closed, it suffocated itself," said Whynot.

He believes the fire started from a paper shredder that shorted out.

John Long, spokesperson for the fire department, says the volunteers spent some time on the scene assessing the damage, helping to remove some of the smoke, and checking throughout the building to be sure no other electrical components were on fire.

"They pulled a few ceiling tiles down to make sure there was no extension to where the fire was, sometimes there is potential that the fire is in the ceiling and that you can't see it," said Long.

Long says the department isn't committing to electrical as the cause but says it is suspected.

Whynot says the top floor of the building, which opens on Church Street, should be ready for rental again within the week. The lower floor, where the club holds its meetings and suppers is more damaged and the basement, where the fire started, will need to be gutted.

The club's insurance company is involved but Whynot says it's too early to tell if the club will need any help with replacing some items.

"Fortunately where we have a good record, our deductible is zero," he said, adding that the insurance covers new items but that depreciation will likely be taken into account for some items like flooring.

Lions Radio Bingo items are mostly kept in the basement so Whynot says their records and many bingo books have been destroyed, though they will be replaced. There is one silver lining however.

"We were very lucky, we had bingo books on order and they did not arrive on time," chuckled Whynot.

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