Firefighters were still on scene investigating the cause of a three-alarm church fire around 11 a.m. Saturday. The blaze was reported around 4 a.m. at Restoring Hope Church on 1 S. Walnut St. Firefighters arrived to find the church ablaze and quickly requested more help.
By 4:35 a.m., more than 60 firefighters in seven fire trucks were working to douse the blaze.
During that effort, the church's caretaker was pulled from the basement, the department said. Associate Pastor Greg Thomas, who was at the church with several congregation members and the senior pastor, said the caretaker, is being treated for smoke inhalation, but he's expected to be okay.
It took more than an hour for firefighters to bring the blaze under control and complete a search of the building. During the battle, one firefighter suffered minor injuries, the department said.
The extent of damage to the church and the cause of the fire haven't been released by firefighters, though Thomas said there is extensive smoke damage. Several windows were also broken out by firefighters to release heat from the building.
Thomas said the fire started in the basement, on the opposite side of where the caretaker was sleeping. The cause, said Thomas, is possibly electrical and firefighters were looking at light fixtures.
The church had recently moved from 429 E. Pikes Peak Ave, to the new building on Walnut, which was formerly the home of Emmanuel Baptist Church. They held their first service in the new building last week, and were set for a grand opening on Sunday morning.
"The horrible thing is finding out about it on the news," said Thomas. "You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and see that your building is on fire."
First Presbyterian, on Bijou Street, is letting Restoring Hope have evening service at their facility Sunday night, but Thomas said the church as yet, has no long term plans for what they'll do.
Several local churches have offered to help, he said.
"This has been a good opportunity for the Christian church community to come together."
Written by The Gazette
Courtesy of YellowBrix - YellowBrix