George Gentilesco, a bar chairman at the Knights, said he received a phone call about the fire around 2 a.m..
"The fire was blazing out of the back of the building. It took the whole building out."
Gentilesco said it took firefighters until nearly 4:45 a.m. to contain and extinguish the fire.
A look inside the building showed the roof had collapsed and the entire inside from back to front was burned.
Chairman Duck Daugharty said he was tending the lodge Sunday night for members to watch football and closed the building around 11:45 p.m.
Daugharty lives directly across the street at 46 Minnesota Ave. and he said his dog woke him up by scratching frantically at the door at around 2:45 a.m. When he looked out his window he said the flames were shooting 15 to 20 feet in the air.
The Long Beach Fire Departmen, under Chief Rich Corbett, responded with 100 firefighters and 15 pieces of apparatus. They were assisted by the Inwood, Island Park, Oceanside, Point Lookout and Rockville Centre Fire Departments.
Chief Corbett told Patch that the departments had to attack the fire from the exterior of the building at 970 West Beech St. due to the advancement of the blaze and for firefighter safety.
"Four tower ladders were set up and the fire was attacked from the outside," he added.
No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire was determined to be non-suspicious and undetermined.
Daugharty said today was the day the lodge was going to open back up as a lodge after it continued to serve as a distribution center for the city after sandy. He had been working there each day for 12 to 15 hrs.
"It's devastating," he said about the fire. "We're helping people out and doing the right thing and this happens."
The Knights of Columbus lodge in the West End suffered the same flooding and lack of power as all of Long Beach after Sandy crashed into the barrier island last month. However, members immediately sprung into action, hooking up a generator to serve the community and collect relief supplies.
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Editor Joseph Kellard is reporting from the scene. This story was last updated at 10:06 a.m. on Dec. 10.
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