Animated butterly
The setback
Page 1 of 3

"Get out - at once - your building is on fire.
This is not a joke. Get out"

On November 1st, 1998 at 11.00am the congregation were at worship in the church when a passing rambler rushed in ordering everyone to get out immediately as the building was on fire.

The source of the fire was in a storage corridor between the two sets of doors leading from the outside verandah into the schoolroom. This space was used by the playgroup to store toys, paper, and other material.

Clive Knapman, the senior steward at the time, and Iain Adkins, a Sunday School member, attempted to extinguish the blaze during the course of which Clive suffered blistering to the hand that held the extinguisher. But the heat was already too intense.

A dejected band of worshippers stood helpless on the hillside as the fire service arrived and started their work. The fire they had to deal with was, we were later told, the worst one they had seen in the last year. The combustible playgroup material coupled with the large amount of wood used in the schoolroom construction meant that the fire had rapidly taken hold. The storage corridor had acted like a chimney and the flames had spread into the roof space and been carried into the church roof.

Seven hours later, when the fire services began to depart
and the worshippers - most of whom were still there - were able
to enter the building to start salvage work,
only then was the full extent of the damage seen.

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