Brethren of Horace W. Tyler and Evergreen Lodges, Ladies and Gentlemen of Tyler Chapter and Bethel 32,
There has been a fire that damaged portions of the west (back) side of the Tyler temple building. The UP Fire Department was alerted to the fire at approximately 9:30pm last night, Aug 30 to smoke emanating from the Temple. The fire department broke into the upstairs and downstairs main doors on the north side of the building and put out the fire located in the ceiling rafters of the mechanical room on the west side first floor. The fire also flowed out into the rafters above the first floor hallway. Other than the rafters, the fire damage pokes through slightly into the second floor near the top of the stairwell. While the Fire Marshall has made some preliminary assessments and collected forensic evidence, the investigation is not complete and the Marshall will be consulting with the Pierce County Sherriff’s office. They directed us to stay out of the mechanical room until further notice. We expect to get more information on Tuesday.
I was the first to be alerted by the Pierce County Fire Marshall today, Aug 31 at 1:30am. The Marshall then called Bro Charles Covington (building manager and nearest member) while I alerted WB Rufus Allen (Templeboard President) and WM Steve Turner. We all arrived at the temple soon after and were briefed by the fire department. By then, a company called by the fire department was boarding up the doors that were broken through. Consequently, any entrance into the building is currently limited to the East side door, which now has a hasp and new lock on it.
Concordant bodies should make preparations to meet at alternate locations this coming week. Use of the building could be soon, but it depends at a minimum, on the completion of the investigation. But there is also cleanup, water damage, smoke odor, door replacement, and possible electrical damage that must be dealt with in addition to repairing the direct fire damage. WM Steve Turner is alerting our insurance company in the morning.
I will put out updates as more information becomes available. If you have questions or concerns, contact the Templeboard President WB Rufus Allen or myself as Templeboard and Lodge Secretary.
Since I don’t have all emails of all the members of Evergreen Lodge, Tyler Chapter, or Bethel 32, representatives of those organizations should forward this email.
While this is certainly bad news for all of us, we can be thankful that nobody was hurt and that there were alert folks in the apartments nearby that reported the fire and it was put out at a an early stage.
In the Faith,
Secretary, Horace W. Tyler Lodge and Tyler Templeboard