Fire destroys Blossom Masonic Lodge

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BLOSSOM, TX -- A morning fire in Lamar County destroyed the Blossom Masonic Lodge and all of the historic artifacts inside it.

Around five Thursday morning, the Blossom Volunteer Fire Department arrived to the Blossom Masonic Lodge off FM 196, where it was fully engulfed in flames.

Six additional volunteer departments were called, but they were unable to save the building.

"When we first arrived it was fully involved and it was already coming out of the roof," said Blossom Fire Captain Jeff Stover.

"I heard about it from a co-worker who is a fireman in Allen," said Lodge Master Kevin Whitley. "It came across the scanner and he called and let me know the masonic lodge was on fire. I was just hoping it was a mistake."

It took crews nearly three hours to contain the blaze and several more hours to put out hotspots.

"There was still a lot of mop up to do," said Whitley. "They were still on scene after we left about seven o'clock."

The masonic lodge has been home to Freemasons in the Blossom area since the mid 1800's. The lodge was in downtown Blossom before moving to the current building in 1987.

Inside the lodge masons lost nearly two centuries worth of artifacts including a bible from the 1800's and a pre-Civil War sword.

"We do plan to rebuild," said Whitley. "We haven't had a chance to talk it over as to if we are going to rebuild here or the time frame of rebuilding."

A neighbor stated they saw a vehicle at the lodge about an hour before fire crews arrived.

Fire officials say the building is a total loss and they're unsure at this time what caused the fire.

"We did see some tire tracks out there," said Stover. "We are going to pull all resources in to make sure that we do a complete investigation and find out if this was arson or not."

A state fire marshal and an arson dog are being brought in for further investigation.