Ormiston Scout Hall destroyed by fire

UPDATE 12.15pm

A FIRE that gutted the Cleveland Scout hall at Gordon Street, Ormiston on Sunday morning has united a community.

District commissioner of the Redland Scout district Paul Tuckwood said that the 70 Scouts, Cubs, Joeys and Venturers and their 15 adult leaders and helpers would continue to meet this week, thanks to a groundswell of support offering facilities and equipment from other scout and guiding groups and the general community.

“We will not falter. We will keep going and ensure this program for youth continues, sad though this situation is,” Mr Tuckwood said.

Firefighters in five trucks were called to the fire at 3.20am but were not able to save the 75-year-old building. Firefighters returned at 10am to put out hot spots where the fire re-ignited. The building had been gifted to the Scouting movement from the American navy and moved from Wellington Point Reserve after the war.

“It was the oldest Scout group in the district,”Mr Tuckwood said.

Neighbour Teresa Boyce said she saw smoke then flames at 3.30am and later heard five loud explosions. These were possibly from fire extinguishers exploding outside the site.

“I looked outside and saw a moving mist then an orange glow. I regularly walk past the hall and I don’t just see the Scout groups. I see dances and community activities. This is a part of this area’s history,” Ms Boyce said.

Another neighbour Helen Stoodley said her mother, a music teacher, used to come to the hall in the 1960s for musical rehearsals.

“I am a third generation to this area. This was a lovely old building and a part of our history. Only last year I came to the hall for a 2030 fundraiser and of course bookfest. It’s an idyllic site, in a bushland setting and home to wildlife,” Ms Stoodley said.

Various groups used the hall for bonsai, flower arranging, yoga and Rotary bookfest. The Rotary shed adjoining the hall was unaffected by the fire.

“This is not just a devastating loss for the Scouts as a whole, but for the Redland community. Many and varied community groups used this hall. The whole city has lost part of its heritage and a community gathering place. We will re-build,” deputy mayor Cr Wendy Boglary said.

Venturer leader Ray Boyd said the positive outcome would be to see the community unite to have the hall re-built.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said a fire investigator was working with police to determine the cause and spread of the fire.

Police believe the fire may be suspicious and a crime scene has been declared. Anyone with information is asked to phone Policelink on 131 444 or contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

UPDATE 11.30am

A FIRE investigator is at the scene of a fire at the Ormiston Scout Hall.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said the investigator was working with police to determine the cause and spread of the fire.

The spokeswoman said just before 10am on Sunday firefighters were called to put out hot spots where the fire had reignited.

Five fire trucks, supported by a command-in-control vehicle that managed the scene, responded to the initial blaze about 3.20am on Sunday.

EARLIER

A FIRE destroyed the Ormiston Scout Hall in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A police spokesperson said emergency services found the hall fully engulfed in fire about 3.20am.

The fire was extinguished but the hall, at the intersection of Bainbridge and Gordon streets, was destroyed.

SUNDAY MORNING: Firefighters are still at the scene of a fire at Ormiston Scout Hall. Photo: Brian Williams

SUNDAY MORNING: Firefighters are still at the scene of a fire at Ormiston Scout Hall. Photo: Brian Williams

Police believe the fire maybe suspicious and a crime scene has been declared.

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire.

If you have information that could help police, phone Policelink on 131 444 or contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.