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Fayetteville Lodge Fire Ruled an Accident

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The Fayetteville Moose Lodge held a lot
FAYETTEVILLE — A fire that destroyed a private social club in Fayetteville has been ruled an accident. Investigators say faulty electrical wiring caused the blaze that engulfed the Moose Lodge around 7:30 Tuesday morning.

The Fayetteville Moose Lodge has been on Lake Club Drive since 1965. The club's administrator and about 400 members are already pledging to rebuild.

For John Knowles, the Moose Club Lodge was more than a building. It was a reminder of good times. Just Saturday night, 70 members enjoyed a dance there. But now their recreation hall is gone.

The Moose Lodge was closed on Monday. Tuesday, investigators had reason to believe the fire may have been set. The fire call came in at 7:22 Tuesday morning. Just eight minutes earlier at 7:14, police were notified the buildings burglar alarm was going off.

"That could be tied to the fire alarm or it could be someone with forced entry," Sgt. Tim Hayworth explained. "Of course, our investigators are looking into that option."

The lodge is located in a very remote area. In the past, that has made the building a target for robberies and vandals. John Knowles hopes they are not responsible, but he says trouble often follows when he has to run off underage kids who are drinking in the parking lot.

"My alarm will go off," Knowles said. "They come down, mess with the gates or doors or something else, and break in."

The North Carolina Moose Association meeting in Fayetteville was supposed to take place at the lodge last night. Members will continue to meet at a private residence and make plans to rebuild.