April 12th 2002
HEART OF VILLAGE CLAIMED BY BLAZE
From the Lincoln Echo newspaper. Images of the fire can be seen at the bottom of this page
A blaze which ravaged Fiskerton Village Hall has left the Building a smoky shell.
The roof of the hall recently replaced at a cost of £3000, was completely destroyed by the fire, which began at around 12:30pm yesterday. After just 20 minutes the fire at the community hall, near Lincoln, had eaten away at the roof – leaving only the rafters standing.
Fire-fighters from North Lincoln Fire Station in Nettleham Road were called out by teenagers Adam Walker (16) and Sarah Smith (17), who both live in the village. “We were sitting sitting watching videos when we smelled the smoke” said Adam. “when I looked out of the window at the hall I saw flames coming from the roof – and I just called the fire brigade as quickly as I could.” Sarah said the smoke was very heavy, “All I could see and smell at first was smoke” she said, “Then I saw the fire, and the whole roof was up in flames” she added. Adam said it was quite a frightening experience. “we all use that hall regularly, so it was really shocking to see it on fire.” he said.
Magaret Woods, who has been a leading member of the village hall committee for 55 years, was visibly shaken by the fire. ” I used to go school there over 60 years ago” she said. ” I am in my late 70s now and I have been involved in the hall for so much of my life. I feel heartbroken watching it burn, and seeing it just a shell.” she added.
Station Officer John Taylor, from North Lincoln Fire Station, was in charge of the operation. He said “It was a very serious fire. The building is pretty far gone, with the roof having fallen into the building” he said. “It took us 20 minutes to control the flames, and we had to damp it all down. Luckily nobody was inside the hall, but at the time of the fire, workers were on the roof repairing an old part of the building. Perhaps ignition has something to do with that work, but we are unsure at the moment.”
The fire was not just a shock to the community, but has also caused upheaval in the lives of local people. Jennifer Hays, a member of bar staff in the hall, says that she is now unemployed. “Now that the hall is out of use, i do not have a job” she said ” I earned my living through that place, this event is more than just a shame, it is a real problem.”
For little Joshua Glastonbury (nine), his 10th birthday party next week will not be quite the same. “I had my birthday party booked for next week, on April 15, but now because of the fire I wont be able to have a party there” he said. “I Fell sad and I wish the fire hadn’t happened”
Repairs to the hall will not begin for sometime. The village hall committee said in a statement: ” We will have to wait for a damage assessment before we start thinking about about funds and repairs, but it is certainly a concern. The hall is the heart of the community, and it will be missed”