Security guard honored for quick response

PHOTO BY JAKE DUNFEEThanks to the fast action of a security staffer and the quick response of fire crews, the pavilion is still standing in Lakeside after a Valentine’s Day blaze.
Security guard Andy Larson said he was doing his final rounds Tuesday night when he saw flames coming out the door of the pavilion. He immediately jumped in his truck and called for help. The Lakeside Fire Department — later joined by crews from Marblehead and Catawba — was on scene in minutes.

According to Tom Derby, Lakeside’s Chief Financial Officer, their speed made all the difference.
“That coupled with the firewall doing its job pretty much saved the pavilion,” he said.
According to Derby, the blaze started in the stairwell on the east side of the pavilion and spread up to the roof. Significant damage was done to that portion of the structure but a firewall kept the flames from going into the central pavilion.
Residents and Lakeside leadership took time at their monthly potluck meeting to thank Larson and the fire crews.
“They gave me a plaque and gift card to Walmart,” Larson said. “I was really surprised. That gave me a fat head for a day and half.”
“He moved real fast and did the right things and we feel he was a big part of saving the building,” Derby said. “Our goal now is to get some contractors in this week and get started rebuilding before the season.”

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