VFW Fire Leaves a Loss in the Community

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LOCK HAVEN -- It was a heartbreaking day for members of a VFW post in Lock Haven after flames destroyed their building overnight. Newswatch 16 talked with some of the VFW members in Lock Haven Friday.

Hours after fire broke out late Thursday night, people were still all around the gutted building Friday, just staring in disbelief.

Newswatch 16 was there when members of VFW Post 1630 were desperately trying to salvage anything after the fire.

Post members pull a wet, torn American flag from World War I out of debris at the VFW in Lock Haven.

They're digging through what's left of their building after a massive fire.

“It's a terrible thing,” said Harvey Probst from Lock Haven.

Thursday night's fire tore through the building on the corner of East Church and Grove Street. The fire was so big companies from three counties were called in to help.

“I seen the flames they were sky high,” said Donna Geyer- Marshall from Lock Haven.

Now, post leaders are pretty sure the building will have to be torn down.

“It's been draining. Everyone has been standing around trying to figure out what's going on. How are we going to do this save everything, start all over.” said Wayne Litz the VFW Commander.

The VFW holds events for the community all year long and every Friday they have a band play. In a weird turn of events, the band, Bad Karma was supposed to play at the VFW this weekend.

The post in Lock Haven has 230 social members who use the facility for all kinds of events and around 100 veterans belong there.

The fire may not only be a loss for vets but perhaps a big loss for the community as well, since the building has been a hub for fellowship. The community has used it for everything from hosting wedding receptions to charity events.

“So aside from the toys that Santa brought, they made it possible for us to have a Christmas," said Erica Probst from Lock Haven.

The American Legion down the street is allowing the VFW to use its space for gatherings until the post can find a place of its own. For right now fire investigators cannot find a cause to what started Thursday night's fire at the VFW in Lock Haven.

Post leaders are waiting for insurance adjusters before they can put a dollar amount on all the destruction.

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