American Legion Post catches fire on Memorial Day

Alex Lloyd Gross- Photo Delaware Valley John Clark walks down Orthodox street as his American Legion Post burns behind him.

By Alex Lloyd Gross

Alex Lloyd Gross – Photo Delaware Valley Medics stage as master streams shoot water into the building.

Memorial Day 2016 is a day that will live in infamy for several local vets. It’s the day that their American Legion Post caught fire in Frankford.  Post 396 located at 2369 Orthodox Street  sustained massive damage during the smoky four alarm fire.  The building, which measures about 100 by 100 and sits on a corner  was the only structure to sustain any damage.  The blaze seemed to be contained to the second floor of the building.  The fire department dumped  a ton of water into the building to extinguish the blaze, at times fighting the fire from the exterior only.

All paperwork  and mementos  were seriously damaged in the blaze.  The cause is under investigation by the ATF as well as local authorities.  While the building was occupied at the time of the fire no injuries were reported.  As more fire trucks came to the scene, busy Aramingo Avenue was closed to traffic as were several smaller  streets such as Orthodox and Milner streets.  Thick black smoke could be observed for miles.

Alex Lloyd Gross Delaware Valley Fireground operations.

On Orthodox street, Post member John Clark was dazed and in shock as he watched his second home burn.  “I don’t know what I’m gonna go,  this place was everything to me,’  he said.   The Marine served in Vietnam and was in full uniform as he was comforted by area residents. Other  members of the post  showed up and consoled each other. One man said that his wedding ring was left downstairs in the office.  “We cannot get in there until maybe tomorrow at the earliest, he said”.

The post was home to several Veterans and for it to burn on Memorial Day is just unfathomable to some.    The post had their own Facebook page which is certain to have updates to any rebuilding or donation drive that interested people can partake in.  While members of the community sat outside, watching the fire,  public adjusters and board up representatives converged on the scene hoping for business.