By Ron Brown
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Fire investigators are on the scene of an early-morning fire that destroyed a historic Grange Hall in Grants Pass.
Investigators from State Police, the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Grants Pass and Rural-Metro Fire are all digging through the ruins of the old Rogue River Valley Grange Hall. They’re trying to find what started this fire that was first spotted by neighbors about 1:30 on Monday morning. Not much is left and Grange members are vowing to rebuild. Grange Master Jill Hamm says they do have insurance. Rural Metro spokesman Mike Shaw says the fire was well underway by the time crews showed up.
Winds blowing the fire through the 96-year-old building and across the road challenged firefighters, but a hydrant right in front of the Grange Hall allowed them to stop it before the building was totally destroyed. It will probably take a little while for fire investigators to find out exactly what started this fire. They know it apparently started at that end of the building, but they say there’s one common thread between this fire and another fire that was just down the road; another building they were using a quarter mile away also burned in November of 2011.
Hamm says several groups representing hundreds of people use the Grange building, including a Scout troop and an Alcoholics Anonymous group, the Hi-Lo Club.