Easter Morning Fire Damages Church in Wilson
Posted April 8, 2007 12:18 p.m. EDT
Updated April 8, 2007 6:49 p.m. EDT
Wilson, N.C. — Fire heavily damaged a church near Wilson on Sunday as worshipers were arriving for Easter services.
As flames worked their way up the Deans Chapel church walls, volunteers from four fire departments put off their own church attendance to fight the blaze, said Jon Anderson, assistant Silver Lake fire chief.
“Smoke was coming out from the side of the wall. it was catching on from the inside to the outside,” said minister Christopher McRae.
The blaze at Deans Chapel on Bloomery Road and Packhouse Road was not what worshipers expected to find.
"Yeah, we had big plans just praising the lord and giving thanks for what He had done,” assistant pastor John King said as the congregation looked through the remains of the church that the congregation had rented for six months while building its own facility.
Terrell King, one of the members of the congregation, said he “came here like I did every Sunday morning, turn on both heaters in the church.” Firefighters believe one of those wall-mounted heaters somehow started the fire.
The fire damaged the structure, but the congregation was able to salvage the pulpit, pews and a picture of Jesus Christ.
The church's Easter service had been scheduled for 9:45 a.m. The church has another structure in Zebulon, and worshipers will go there next Sunday, they said.
“Several of the firefighters were in the process of getting ready to go to their own church, and a lot of them sacrificed that visit to be able to help somebody else,” Anderson said.