In the early hours of Sept. 9, lightning struck Hood College’s historic Brodbeck Music Hall. The ensuing fire caused significant damage to the building’s interior, though we are confident Hood’s oldest building can expect a full restoration.

Above all, we are most grateful that no one was harmed. On behalf of the entire Hood community, I would like to offer a heartfelt thank you to the Frederick County Division of Fire and Rescue Services (DFRS). In particular, we would like to extend our gratitude to Junior Fire Company #2, the primary responding fire department during the incident.

Within four minutes of the fire alarm being activated, first responders were on the scene. The tireless efforts of over 70 firefighters and rescue personnel managed to contain the blaze within 45 minutes, a remarkable achievement. Their courage and professionalism in the face of danger is a testament to DFRS. Beyond battling the smoke and flames, firefighters assisted with recovering valuable instruments and other salvageable assets from Brodbeck, while also installing protective covering on the building’s beloved organ.

Hood College is forever indebted to their quick action and bravery during this challenging time. Furthermore, we would like to thank lead investigator Lt. Eddie Ruch, who in less than a week’s time was able to pinpoint the precise cause of the fire. His team provided Hood with constant, open communication while surveying the damage. The outpouring of support we have received from the Frederick community has been a source of comfort.

Brodbeck Hall has stood on the grounds for more than 150 years, hosting countless concerts, events, and classes. It is a place filled with cherished memories and an integral part of Hood’s and Frederick’s history. With time and effort, we will once again hear music and more at Brodbeck.

Andrea E. Chapdelaine

Hood College President

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