Gold Rush Days cookhouse destroyed by fire

Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- A fire has destroyed a Juneau structure used as a cookhouse during Gold Rush Days, a yearly summer fair.

The cause of Friday's early morning blaze is under investigation, fire officials said.

Firefighters received a call at 4:59 a.m., said Capt. Beth Weldon of Capital City Fire and Rescue. When firefighters arrived, the 20-by-40-foot frame structure was fully engulfed by flames.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Gold Rush Days Chairman Calvin Crumrine said the group plans to rebuild the structure, which also served as a storage facility for tables, chairs and equipment. Particularly important were parts of the large tent used by vendors during Gold Rush Days, which features competitions and exhibitions by miners and loggers from around the nation.

The fire ''shouldn't have a great impact on the event itself,'' Crumrine said.

During the period between Gold Rush Days celebrations, the structure was not insured for fires, Crumrine said.

''We didn't have a lot of expensive equipment stored under there, with the exception of the support poles for the tent,'' Crumrine told the Juneau Empire.

The building was not wired for electricity or gas, Crumrine said. He and his wife, Gold Rush Days Secretary Arlene Crumrine, said they suspect arson. In the past, parts of the structure have been vandalized.

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