The unwelcome event on a Friday afternoon attracted attention at the Huthwaite church hall, probably for this buildings last time after 40 years providing community group services.
Fire crews fought and restrained flames from spreading to nearby properties, but the mainly wooden structure of All Saints church hall now stands destroyed by this latest local firebug.
The blaze is believed connected with an 11 year old since released from arrest on bail. One angry fire fighter from the scene reportedly expressed his disgust at this senseless incidence. This became a view shared by many sickened local residents and church members as the full extent of the damage became revealed.
Church leaders are now faced with waiting for the insurance claim assessment, believed to run into thousands of pounds, following results of a full investigation into how the fire began.
Rev Charlie Maiden is quoted as telling a local reporter, "We are obviously totally devastated. The hall is used nearly every hour of the week and used by every age group from toddlers to pensioners..." While the need for some relocation to external facilities are clear, many regular community groups will be left waiting, but as Rev Maiden added, "There are also lots of people who have memories attached to it...."
Quoted from report by Richard Hooton published in Ashfield Chad 10th October 2002.
The resulting damage clearly left no alternative other than demolition. Photographs spanning full site clearance reveal Novembers work only took a few weeks, before viewing flattened December plot.
Written 12 Oct 02 Revised 28 Dec 02 © by Gary Elliott