Ice and fire: 10 years since historic blaze that destroyed Masonic Hall

Posted Jan. 31, 2014, at 12 p.m.
Fire crews from Bangor, Brewer and Orono battle the stubborn fire at the former Masonic Block on Main Street in Bangor in this January 16, 2004 photo. Crews began to tear down the building later in the evening to prevent an uncontrolled collapse of the unstable structure.
KEVIN BENNETT | BDN
Fire crews from Bangor, Brewer and Orono battle the stubborn fire at the former Masonic Block on Main Street in Bangor in this January 16, 2004 photo. Crews began to tear down the building later in the evening to prevent an uncontrolled collapse of the unstable structure.
A Bangor firefighter is shrouded in water vapor rising off the pavement after  Bangor and Brewer firefighters responded to the January 2004 fire at the former Masonic Hall in Bangor.
STEPHEN M. KATZ | BDN
A Bangor firefighter is shrouded in water vapor rising off the pavement after Bangor and Brewer firefighters responded to the January 2004 fire at the former Masonic Hall in Bangor.
Firefighters from Bangor and Brewer are shrouded in water vapor and smoke as they respond to a blaze at the former Masonic Hall on Main Street in downtown Bangor in January 2004.
STEPHEN M. KATZ | BDN
Firefighters from Bangor and Brewer are shrouded in water vapor and smoke as they respond to a blaze at the former Masonic Hall on Main Street in downtown Bangor in January 2004.
Bangor firefighters douse the smoldering remains of the Masonic Hall on Saturday, Jan . 17, 2004. Smoke continued to rise from the rubble Sunday.
John Clarke Russ | BDN
Bangor firefighters douse the smoldering remains of the Masonic Hall on Saturday, Jan . 17, 2004. Smoke continued to rise from the rubble Sunday.
Members of the Ward family of Brewer were among the droves of curious onlookers who turned out in the days after the fire to survey the remains of the fire-destroyed Masonic Hall in downtown Bangor. From the left are Dana Ward, his wife, Paula, and their children, Michelle and Ryan.
John Clarke Russ | BDN
Members of the Ward family of Brewer were among the droves of curious onlookers who turned out in the days after the fire to survey the remains of the fire-destroyed Masonic Hall in downtown Bangor. From the left are Dana Ward, his wife, Paula, and their children, Michelle and Ryan.
A view from the parking garage overlooking Water Street shows the remains of the Masonic Hall building continuing to smolder two nights after the fire.
John Clarke Russ | BDN
A view from the parking garage overlooking Water Street shows the remains of the Masonic Hall building continuing to smolder two nights after the fire.
A crane begins to knock down the rear of the fourth floor of the Masonic Hall as night falls a day after the fire.
KEVIN BENNETT | BDN
A crane begins to knock down the rear of the fourth floor of the Masonic Hall as night falls a day after the fire.
Downtown Bangor and its side streets were abandoned the day after the fire as crews battled the stubborn fire that destroyed the Masonic Hall and two retail spaces at 116-118 Main St.
KEVIN BENNETT | BDN
Downtown Bangor and its side streets were abandoned the day after the fire as crews battled the stubborn fire that destroyed the Masonic Hall and two retail spaces at 116-118 Main St.
Flames can be seen glowing inside the Masonic Hall through a fourth-floor window the day after the fire started in Bangor.
KEVIN BENNETT | BDN
Flames can be seen glowing inside the Masonic Hall through a fourth-floor window the day after the fire started in Bangor.
Bangor Public Works employees help ease the flow of water along Water Street as firefighters pump up to 6,000 gallons a minute onto the Masonic Hall on Main Street.
KEVIN BENNETT | BDN
Bangor Public Works employees help ease the flow of water along Water Street as firefighters pump up to 6,000 gallons a minute onto the Masonic Hall on Main Street.
The traffic lights on the corner of Main and Water streets in Bangor bow under the strain of ice from water sprayed onto the Masonic Hall as firefighters battle the fire on Main Street.
KEVIN BENNETT | BDN
The traffic lights on the corner of Main and Water streets in Bangor bow under the strain of ice from water sprayed onto the Masonic Hall as firefighters battle the fire on Main Street.

A decade ago, on January 15, 2004 a fire burned Bangor’s historic 1870 Masonic Hall building on Main Street to the ground. No one lived in the building, but three businesses were destroyed.

Bangor Daily News photographers Stephen M. Katz, John Clarke Russ, and Kevin Bennett photographed the fire and followed the clean-up days later. The following images are from the BDN staff’s coverage.

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