Experts: Church fire not storm related
A lightning strike has been ruled out as the cause of a fire that destroyed Hartselle Christian Church last week.
Instead, it was determined by local, state and federal fire investigators that it resulted from the failure of the wiring in the church kitchen.
Meanwhile, the congregation conducted an outdoor worship service on the church parking lot on Sunday morning and announced plans to hold services in rented space at Sparkman Civic Center during the month of November.
A decision will be made on future plans after the insurance carrier completes an assessment of the damage and a settlement agreement is reached, according to Pastor Michael Sikes.
“We suffered a great loss in our building but our church is still standing and our faith remains strong,” Sikes said. “We believe all things are possible when God is in control.”
Hartselle Fire Chief Steve Shelton said the remains of the fire were the object of a thorough investigation conducted on Oct. 27 by himself and two other local fire investigators, three State Fire Marshals and a representative of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
“We were able to determine that it (fire) definitely was not stormrelated and probably the result of electrical wiring overheating,” Shelton said.
Firefighters were hindered in their efforts to extinguish the flames because the east wing of the building had voids, a metal roof and there were prevailing strong wind gusts,” Shelton said. At one point fire fighters had to discontinue the use of an aerial truck because of lightning.
Fire fighters remained on the scene for more than four hours. Assistance was provided by fire departments at Flint, Oak Ridge, Danville, Falkville and S.A.V.E.S.