The chimneys and fireplaces of the Canberra Services Club will be the only things left standing in a fortnight when a demolition crew finishes the clean-up of the burnt-out Manuka site.

The other items salvaged after the April blaze two doors, windows and chairs from Old Parliament House will be stored off site.

Work began yesterday, almost a month behind schedule, after concerns about asbestos disposal.

Club president Matthew Harvey said it was a sad day but members needed to look to the future.

” Having the building in its burnt-out state … has been difficult to deal with depressing in its own right, so whilst it’s sad and that, it’s the last we will see of it it is important to have that clean slate so we can look forward,” Mr Harvey said.

The ACT Fire Brigade found the blaze, which gutted the heritage-listed 70-year-old building, was accidental. It started around the fireplace under the floor.

The predominantly wooden structure was destroyed just a few days after Anzac Day.

Mr Harvey said the new structure would focus on functionality rather than creating an exact replica of the destroyed building.

”It will be a similar style to what the old building was but it won’t necessarily be wood and it won’t necessarily be the same size. We have to look at what is realistic in today’s building structures to meet our members’ needs,” he said.

Club general manager Allen Evans said the two-week demolition would remove tonnes of debris and asbestos and was expected to cost $150,000.

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