A fire destroyed the Hejaz Shrine Temple in Greenville County, engulfing the building in the early hours of Tuesday, May 12.
Firefighters were called out shortly after midnight to the temple on Ranch Road, according to local media. After firefighters worked to stop the flames for some time, the roof of the building began to collapse.
“As far as we know … it did start in the lower part of the building, but we don’t exactly know the cause,” said Sherwood Kaiser, spokesman for the Hejaz Shriners. The Shriners are currently waiting for the fire marshal and investigators to determine the cause of the fire. The group has not been allowed into the building to check all that was destroyed. “We will certainly have to rebuild,” Kaiser said.
The fire has really affected the group, Kaiser said, comparing the loss of the temple with the loss of a loved one. “We’re strong. We’re a fraternity of brothers, and we will stand together and we will come back,” he said.
“The people of the Upstate have always supported the Hejaz Shriners, and we just ask them to continue their support right now because of this trying time,” Kaiser said.
The Hejaz Shriners have been in the Upstate for 100 years, Kaiser said. The group’s website states that there are 4,000 members.
“We are grateful everyone is safe – and we stand with them, as they have always stood with us!” the post stated.