Fire that damaged Masonic Lodge in Quincy was caused by accident, state fire marshal says

The cause of the four-alarm fire that ravaged the historic Masonic temple in Quincy Monday has been determined to be an accident by State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan’s office, officials said.

On Monday, workmen were grinding and cutting into ductwork in the basement of the Hancock Street building when sparks generated by the cutting ignited nearby insulation, according to fire marshal’s spokeswoman Jennifer Mieth.

The temple, which was built in the 1920s, did not have any sprinklers installed, Mieth said.

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“It’s sad to lose historical value due to a lack of sprinklers,” she said.

Firefighters were on the scene this morning to make sure the fire didn’t spark up again, said Quincy Deputy Fire Chief Jeffrey Starr.

One section of the building, including what the Masons call the lodge, is totally destroyed, but the front of the temple may be salvaged, Starr said.

A monetary estimate on the damage is not yet available, but it would be substantial, considering the historical value of the building and its contents, said Mieth.

The building was in the process of being sold, and leaders of the lodge said Monday that the fire consumed historic relics and photographs.