VIENNA – A lightning strike was to blame for a fire that gutted one of the Vienna Historical Society’s storage buildings during last night’s storm.
This morning, Vienna Historical Society president Carole O’Connell had just finished sifting through the small, 16-foot by 25-foot building that was used by the organization to store props and costumes for the annual plays, a supply of the society’s published books detailing the town’s history and a portion of the historical society’s archive collection that was donated by area families.
“The building’s totaled,” O’Connell said. “The lightning actually struck a large tree that was standing behind the building. It exploded, throwing debris every which way, but the only thing that caught fire was the building.”
She is grateful, though, that the fire didn’t spread to the buildings nearby. The camp-style building, which is a newer building and not of historical significance itself, is located right behind the Fire Department’s station house and is very close to houses in the village center.
“Fortunately, the fire department was able to keep the fire from spreading to the other buildings,” O’Connell said.
Another bit of luck was that the costumes and props for the 26th annual play performances, set to open in three days on Thursday, July 24 and will run through Saturday, had already been moved to the Vienna Union Hall where the performances will take place. The original plays, two written by Beverly Wight Smith, and the third by Beverly Shaw, will begin at 7:30 p.m. all three nights, with a 2 p.m. matinee also on Saturday.