Rehoboth Senior Center Remains

While the entryway is still standing, the rest of Rehoboth’s senior center was reduced to rubble by the fire.

REHOBOTH — Officials are working to restore services to the town’s sizable senior population following Saturday’s devastating fire that destroyed the senior center off Bay Road (Route 118).

Selectmen held an emergency meeting Monday and agreed the priority is to continue providing services to seniors despite the lack of a building that was their home away from home.

A three-phase plan is being pursued: restore services for seniors, find a temporary location for council on aging offices, and rebuild the facility, board Chair Skip Vadnais said.

Meals, flu shots, fuel assistance and many senior activities were among services provided by the senior center and COA.

The town plans to rent a temporary trailer to serve as an office and get the meals program operational in the coming days.

Local officials said insurance will cover the cost of a new center but it is expected to be at least a couple of years before a new building would open.

The senior center, which was closed to the public since the spring because of the virus crisis, was over 20 years old and had no sprinkler system.

Rehoboth fire and police officials and the State Fire Marshal’s Office continue to investigate the cause of the fire.

The two-alarm blaze was reported by passersby just after 5 p.m. Saturday but the one-story senior center quickly became engulfed in flames.

The fire was reported to have started in the back where the kitchen and boiler are and spread within 10 minutes to the front of the structure.

Electrical wires caught fire across the street but it is unclear if that played a role.

The senior center, officially named the Gladys L. Hurrell Senior Center, also served as one of three election polling locations in town before they were consolidated at Palmer River Elementary School for the Sept. 1 state primary and Nov. 3 general election.

Stephen Peterson can be reached at 508-236-0377.

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