The Gardner Memorial Theatre in Old Bedford Village, is no more.
“I saw flames starting to come out of the top window towards the back of the theatre,” says Heather Petit, who immediately called 911. “The wind started to blow, it was actually towards my home is right over here so it started to blow this way.”
But even with the quick response the theatre, which was built with timber from around the county and region in the 1970s, was fully engulfed in flames.
Some of the first responders are also involved with the theatre, like Jim Dull. He’s with the Aum Bank Fire Department and the President of the Bedford County Players.
“It’s very surprising, because we’ve just done a lot of electrical work redone in the theatre a couple years ago so we were upgrading and improving everything, every year,” says Dull.
“This is an important part of the community, it’s a big part of the entertainment system here and this is something we cannot lose,” says Dave Cubbison with the Bedford County EMA.
The theatre just wrapped up a production of “Beauty and the Beast” and they were rehearsing for a another play called “Arsenic and Old Lace” set to be performed in August.
But now, it’s a total loss.
“It’s pretty hard, I’ve been to a lot of fires over the years, almost 30 years now in the fire service, but when something like this that you’ve worked on for many years it’s, it’s tough,” says Dull.
The Bedford County Players will have a meeting Wednesday to discuss where they’ll go from here.
CLICK HERE to go to the Go Fund Me page to help raise money to rebuild the theatre.