SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A church in Fayette County was destroyed by a fast-moving fire that began Monday night.
According to officials at the scene, the fire started around 11:30 p.m. at the Mill Run United Methodist Church in the 700-block of Mill Run Road in Springfield Township.
For more than a century, the Mill Run United Methodist Church has been home to Sunday services, marriage ceremonies, and Bible study.
However, an overnight fire could not be controlled and gutted the house of worship.
A Bible pulled from the fire gave parishioners hope as they watched the church succumb to flames and smoke.
“I’ve been standing and praying with many of my parishioners. The building may burn down, but you cannot destroy the church. We can always rebuild a building,” Pastor Randy Newell said.
Newell kept the faith that they would rebuild, even while firefighters continued to work. However, he couldn’t help but mention that parishioners had just finished a five-year renovation to restore the church that was built in the 1890s.
“There’s a lot of memories. It was like a nightmare, to be honest with you,” Fire Chief Ray Orndorff said.
Chief Orndorff said this fire was one of the more difficult ones. He’s been sitting in the pews as long as he can remember.
“Yeah, I’ve gone to church here all my life. And yeah, it did, kind of hit home,” Chief Orndorff said.
Fire crews fought as long as they could inside the church before flames forced them to retreat. But even working outside, ventilating the fire and getting water on it was extremely difficult.
“Well we were, but it’s a metal roof and we just couldn’t get into it. Fire just kept mushrooming on us,” Chief Orndorff said.
While the plan is to rebuild, the pastor said even before 4 a.m. Tuesday he had offers from community organizations to use their facilities for services on Sunday.
There are no reported injuries and the cause of the fire is unknown.
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