Workers from D&H Enterprises (top photo) were on Friday, Jan. 11 grooming the lot where the historic IOOF Hall once stood. The ground work is the final stage of the clean up of the debris from the mid-October fire that burnt down the hall and the adjoining Olympic Pharmacy building. The company is under contract from the City of Forks for cleaning up the IOOF Hall side of the corner lot, located at Division Street and Forks Ave.
Demoltion workers were clearing debris Wednesday morning, January 10 (lower photo) from the site of the October downtown Forks fire. The work continued on Thursday, January 11, with the dirt-floor foundation of the circa 1925 IOOF Hall and the concrete foundation of the Olympic Pharmacy building clearly exposed.
At the Monday evening, Dec. 10 meeting of the Forks City Council, the council approved a bid of about $45,000 from D&H Enterprises to clear debris from the City of Forks side of the site where the historic International Order of Odd Fellows Hall was located. The highest bid for the job was about $97,000.
A D&H crew cleared the sidewalk around the site in mid-December as a safety measure.
The adjacent building on the site, the former Olympic Pharmacy, is owned by Alaska Financial Co. of Anchorage. The firm announced earlier this month that their side of the fire debris site will be cleared at the same time as the IOOF hall side. The firm bought the building in a foreclosure sale.
The early-morning fire totally gutted the City of Forks-owned historic circa 1925 International Order of Odd Fellows hall and the adjacent Olympic Pharmacy building located on the corner of Division St. and Forks Ave.
Investigators reported that a non-suspicious electrical short in a conduit box at the rear of the IOOF building set the fire. There were no injuries due to the fire.
La Tienda, the Latino food and general merchandise store located on the first floor of the IOOF hall has relocated to a space in the Almar Building on Bogachiel Way. The commercial space was formerly occupied by the state Department of Licensing office, which was relocated to the state Department of Health and Human Services building located on Bogachiel Way near Forks Community Hospital.
The Olympic Pharmacy building was shuttered, last used by the Dazzled by Twilight store, which has been closed for over one year.
The City of Forks holds some $3.7 million in insurance on the IOOF hall. Community members have been writing letters to the Forks Forum suggesting redesigns for the building space, and lobbying to have the RAC theater rebuilt.
A wake of sorts for the IOOF hall is being where Forks residents are being invited to recall stories about the hall.