Fire damage prompts closure of historic Panguitch Social Hall

Panguitch Social Hall at 55 E. Center St. is decorated with quilts during a "Quilt Walk" event, Panguitch, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Panguitch.com, St. George News / Cedar City News

PANGUITCH — A fire Monday afternoon caused interior damage to the historic Social Hall in Panguitch, leading city officials to close the building until further notice.

City Manager Lori Talbot said the initial call came in around 3:30 p.m. from workers who were in the building when the fire started in the basement of the building, located at 55 E. Center St.

“Quilt Walk” dinner show attendees eat supper inside Social Hall, Panguitch, Utah, June 8, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“There were some city employees working there at the building when it caught fire,” she said.

Volunteer fire crews from the nearby Panguitch City Fire Department responded to the scene, as did firefighters from Tropic.

“They put a lot of water in the basement, which is where the fire started,” Talbot said, adding that there were quilts and other “Quilt Walk” event decorations stored down there.

Damage to the outside structure was minimal and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation and no damage estimates have yet been made for the city-owned building.

“The fire did burn the floor joists under the stage. I’m not sure if we could just replace the floor joists, or if we’re going to have to do a whole new stage,” Talbot said, adding the city is waiting an insurance adjuster to come in and make recommendations.

Outside of Panguitch Social Hall at 55 E. Center St. is decorated with quilts during “Quilt Walk” event, Panguitch, Utah, June 8, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

The Panguitch Social Hall, originally built between 1890-1900, has been the site of many community gatherings and events in its history. The building partially burned around 1920 and was rebuilt, according to information included on the Utah Division of State History marker installed in front of the building.

The building recently hosted three nights of dinner theater shows June 7-9 as part of the town’s annual Quilt Walk celebration.

“We’re hoping to hear from the insurance adjuster quickly,” Talbot said. “There’s still a lot of things that happen in that building, so we will work to get it reopened as quickly as possible.”

As for the damaged decorations, several Panguitch residents have already called in offering to make and/or donate replacement quilts.

“People are amazing, they are,” Talbot said.

Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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