UPDATED: Fire damages downtown church

The Findlay Fire Department responded to a fire in the sanctuary at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 218 E. Sandusky St., at about 9 a.m. today.

The fire appears to have started in the ceiling of the sanctuary, said Pastor Gregory Creech. Creech said there was also damage to the roof of the church and to the classrooms in the basement of the building.

One employee was in the church when the fire alarm sounded and she was able to leave the building unharmed.

The church has never dealt with a fire before but has had significant damage from flood waters, Creech said.

No cost estimate of the damage was available as of 12:30 p.m., but a contractor and insurance adjuster will be visiting the church soon. Creech said he expects insurance will cover most of the damage.

“We usually just pull together when something like this happens,” Creech said. “We get a lot of neighborly support from everyone.”

Church members were notified about the fire¬†in an email sent late this morning. The email said that “considerable clean up will need to be done in the days ahead, as well as repairs to the ceiling, etc.”

The congregation will gather for worship and communion at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at Brugeman Lodge at Riverbend Park.

In the photo below, church personnel survey the damage. (Photo by RANDY ROBERTS / The Courier.)

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