Residents sad after fire burns down community staple
CALIFORNIA - The California Eagles club will have to find a new home after their building went up into flames Sunday night around 11 p.m.
California Fire Chief, Allen Smith, said this building has always been a concern for him.
"Mostly because of the age, it is over a hundred years old and that building has a tremendous fire load in it because of the type of construction. It has heavy timber construction on the inside. So it is all wood," Smith said.
Smith said they determined the fire started in the bar area. The fire department's team was able to go in but said the fire started to get really dangerous.
"At that point we made the call to go to a defensive attack. No building is worth any of our lives. There was nobody else in there so there was no need for any rescue or anything like that," Smith said.
The past president for the Fraternal Order of Eagles 4027, Rick Smith, said he was told there was just smoke at the time he found out and he was hoping for the best.
"When I drove up I saw that it was bad," Rick Smith said.
He added the Eagles are a huge part of the community. They participate in many activities including the senior center and helping out kids who are going back to school.
"It's hard on a small community like this when you have something like this happen and you're in a state of limbo. But we will be back," Rick Smith said.
The fire department is still unsure how the fire started, but said the building is most likely not salvageable. They will continue to look at the building the next few days to see what can be done.