Committee members have been showing the Melton Times the scale of the damage inside Hose village hall following Thursday’s devastating fire.
Residents at Hose are coming to terms with the impact of the devastating blaze which is likely to see their village hall closed for up to six months.
Our photos here show the burned out interior of the building, which was used extensively for community classes and events.
Two crews of firefighters from Melton and one from Leicester’s Eastern station were deployed to a blaze at the Harby Lane building on Thursday.
Fire had broken out around the stage area of the hall, which will be 50 years old in November nexr year, at around 6.50am.
The building was only recently decorated and £4,000 had been spent on new curtains but the interior has suffered extensive fire damage.
It is a huge blow for the community since the the hall is regularly used for village school PE sessions, exercise classes. music concerts, drama performances and caravan club get-togethers, as well as family celebrations.
Village hall committee chair, Brian Keevil, told the Melton Times: “This is going to have a major impact on the community.
“I’m no expert but I don’t see this being a three-month closure, it is more likely to be around six months.
“We are now waiting to hear back from the insurance company and to find out whether we can repair the building or if we have to start again with a new build.”
A villager alerted the fire brigade after spotting smoke coming from the hall.
As well as extensive internal damage, there is a small hole in the roof where the fire got up to it.
It is hoped Hose Baptist Chapel, St Michael and All Angels Parish Church and the bowls club pavilion will be able to host some of the upcoming community events.
Mr Keevil said: “We are trying now to make sure we provide alternative facilities for people to use.
“We have a lot of big events coming up, such as the Hose Feast, the bonfire night and our Christmas carol concert in December, so it couldn’t have happened at a worse time.”
The village hall committee met only the night before the blaze to discuss ideas for next year’s 50th anniversary of the hall but there is now a race against time to get it rebuilt and reopened for that.
Incident commander for Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service was Melton Fire Station watch manager, Simon Lee, who confirmed that the hall had sustained significant damage from the fire.
He said: “The fire broke out in the early of the morning in or around the staging area and we believe the cause was an electrical fault.
“There was a lot of smoke logging and soot damage to the main fabric of the hall and this will render it being out of action for a considerable period of time.”
Fire crews used four sets of breathing apparatus and two hose reel jets to extinguish the fire while positive pressure ventilation fans were operated to clear the heavy smoke from the hall.