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Hartselle Enquirer

Fire damages Christian Church

Hartselle fire fighters battle flames coming from the roof of Hartselle Christian Church Tuesday afternoon.

A fire possibly the result of a lightning strike caused heavy damage to Hartselle Christian Church on West Main Street Tuesday afternoon.
Church secretary Jackie McHan said she heard cracking and popping while working in her office on the north end of the education wing shortly after 3 p.m.  Upon investigation she discovered smoke coming from the kitchen area and called 911.
”I arrived at my office at approximately 3 p.m. and saw no smoke coming from either the outside or inside of the building,” she said.
The fire apparently started in the kitchen, which is located in the middle of a fellowship hall and education wing. There was no cooking taking place, McHan said.
“It could’ve started from a lightning strike,” church deacon Tom Fredricks said.
“We had a bad thunderstorm pass through about 30 minutes before the fire was discovered.”
Hartselle Fire Station No. 2, located a block away, responded first with an engine company and engaged the fire at the kitchen entrance on the east side of the building.  At first it appeared they had the fire under control but it was fanned through the attic by the force of 25 to 30 mph wind gusts and eventually broke through the vents and metal roof.  Only the walls were left standing and it appeared there would be major damage to the sanctuary.
Hartselle Fire Department dispatched three engine companies and a tower truck to the fire. Support was also provided by Flint and Oak Ridge Fire Departments.
Pastor Michael Sikes said the sanctuary was built in the 1970s and the fellowship hall, kitchen and education wing, including two offices, were renovated six years ago.
“The buildings were in excellent shape,” he said. “It ‘s a shock and a great disappointment to have something like this happen.”

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