Hanover Twp. Fire Chief Phillip Clark said officials believe it started in a propane fireplace inside the building. His was one of several fire departments that battled the blaze, and others that happened after the original fire was out, Sunday night and early Monday morning.
Multiple fire departments battled a blaze at Hanover Reserve Weddings and Events in Hanover Twp. for hours Sunday night and early this morning. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Clark, who earlier said the roof’s construction — metal, Styrofoam and plywood — created challenges for those battling the flames. Clark was meeting with officials from the state fire marshal’s office Monday afternoon.
“It got into the plywood, which got in the middle between the plywood and the metal roof, so the Styrofoam was feeding the fire,” said Clark.
He said it took about 100,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire, which persisted for hours. Without fire hydrants in the area, most of the water came from tankers.
Officials have not provided an estimate of the building’s damage and Hanover Reserve has not estimated how long it will take to reopen.
Even before the venue opened, co-owner and general manager Melanie Barnes told the Journal-News in May that almost every Saturday was booked in 2021, and many are claimed for 2022. The company’s website shows every Friday and Saturday booked the rest of this month; every Saturday and most Fridays booked in November; and every Saturday occupied from March 19 through Dec. 10 of 2022, with many Fridays also reserved for events.
“This is not a good time, I’m sorry,” Barnes said, when contacted Monday by phone.
Hanover Reserve is family-owned by three brothers and their wives with all of them taking an active role in the operation. Extended family has a role in Hanover Reserve, too, with everybody pitching in during construction.
It is a large piece of land with the building set back from the road far enough that traffic noise cannot be heard and provides a sense of rustic and isolated privacy.
They purchased the land in January of 2019 and spent a year and a half studying their concept. Groundbreaking was in May 2020 with construction and set-up finished just before their grand opening May 16 of this year.
In addition to the large reception room, the facility has a large covered outdoor area in back overlooking a pond with a fountain in the middle. The fountain can be lit with different colors to match a bride’s color scheme.
Construction is in the final stages at Hanover Reserve weddings and events venue on Millville Oxford Road. The building is situated on 45 acres with a 2 acre pond creating a scenic backdrop. It features room for 400 guests, bride and groom dressing areas, full bar, covered outdoor areas, fountains and more. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Credit: Nick Graham
Credit: Nick Graham
Offers to help “just kind of got out of hand, in a good way,” Baker said about other businesses offering their assistance. He has added offers by other businesses to his Facebook post “so that people who potentially lost their venue coming up soon would have a place, or at least services, whether it’s DJ or caterer or flowers, or whatever people have messaged us about.”