By KRIS REILLY
LUCERNE VALLEY • A two-alarm fire caused an estimated $400,000 worth of damage to the Lucerne Valley Moose Lodge early Tuesday morning, authorities said.
The dining area in the front of the lodge was destroyed, but firefighters saved more than half of the building after a 2 1/2-hour battle. No one was injured.
The cause was still under investigation, but a San Bernardino County Fire Department press release stated that an electrical problem may have started the blaze.
Located on Laramie Road about a mile south of Highway 18, the Moose Lodge hosted a wide variety of community events, including the recent Star-Spangled Pageant for local children.
“We had a lot of fun in there,” said Women of the Moose member Jean Fuqua as she looked at the scorched front portion of the 3,000-square-foot building. “But the memories are here,” she added, holding her hands over her heart.
Moose Lodge board member Chris Huber was staying in a motorhome at the facility, which has RV parking and hookups. Huber said the power to the motorhomes went out at about 1 a.m. He noticed the fire at about 2 a.m. and called 911.
Four San Bernardino County Fire engines were assisted by personnel from Apple Valley Fire and Cal Fire, according to the release. A lack of fire hydrants in the area left firefighters without a continuous water supply, requiring the use of several water tenders. The metal outer shell of the building and the locked metal doors made it difficult to enter the building and fight the blaze, San Bernardino County Fire Capt. Lars Hanson said.
Moose Lodge Governor James Roof said he hoped to rebuild, but he was still waiting to hear back from the insurance company Tuesday morning. The Moose Lodge board was consulting with Har-Bro, the contractor that rebuilt Lucerne Valley Market and Hardware after a recent fire.
“I’m shocked, to say the least,” Roof said. “We’ve got the full board addressing what to do in the short term. We haven’t made all of the decisions yet.”
For more photos and any further updates, see the July 4 print edition of The Leader. This story will not appear in the June 27 print edition because the paper had already gone to press when the fire occurred.
Kris Reilly can be reached at email@example.com or at (760) 248-7878.