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Fire destroys West Knox Shrine Club building

7:12 AM, Sep 14, 2011   |    comments
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As of 8:15 p.m. officials at the scene of a fire in the Concord Community of West Knox County said the fire is now contained.

According to a Brian Chesney with Rural Metro, the fire started outside of the single story rancher on Olive Road and Alvaros Lane around 7:00 p.m.

"We thought we smelled something. Somebody looked outside and the side of the building was engulfed in flames," said West Knoxville Shriners President Bob Williamson.

It then worked its way up to the attic.

Witnesses told a 10News reporter a meeting of the West Knox Shrine Club was underway. 

Around 30 people were inside eating dinner when someone yelled, "Fire."

Everyone inside was able to get out safely. No injuries were reported.

According to one of the members of the Shriners Club, Greg Davis, the building it made up of two Manhattan Project houses which were brought from Oak Ridge and attached together during the 1950's to make one house. 

"I tried to go back in and there was no way. Floor to ceiling black smoke," explained Davis.

 "We just had the roof finished from the hail storms that went though. We had internal painting done. Tonight was our first real meeting since everything was brought back up to snuff," said Williamson.

The building used to be home to both the Farragut Women's Club and the Shriner's.  The Women's Club turned the building over to the Shriners in the early 2000's. 

The West Knox Shriners Club was established in 1986.  They are part of a national organization known for philanthropy that benefits children's hospitals.  Williamson said they plan to rebuild their headquarters.

"Everybody keep us in your prayers," he said.

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