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New addition to St. Andrew's Lutheran Church catches fire

Monday, June 4, 2012 | 8:47 p.m. CDT; updated 10:32 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 4, 2012
Firefighter Brian Clifford rests after stepping out of St. Andrew's Lutheran Church where a small fire broke out Monday. Because of the heat inside, firefighters rotated and took breaks to hydrate.

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Fire Department responded to a structure fire Monday afternoon at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church on 914 West Blvd. S.

The fire started in the attic of a new building under construction at the church. 

Fire Department crews arrived at the scene about 4:30 p.m., and the fire was extinguished within a few minutes, said Steven Sapp, battalion chief of the Columbia Fire Department.

"We saw light smoke in the building when we arrived," Sapp said.

Some employees were inside the building at the time of the fire, but no one was injured, Sapp said.

The fire might have resulted from the building's lights overheating the insulation, Sapp said.

After the fire was extinguished, the Fire Department removed part of the ceiling to check for remaining hot spots, Sapp said.

West Boulevard was closed from Sunset Drive to Stadium Boulevard until about 6 p.m., when one lane was opened for local traffic. The boulevard was opened to all traffic shortly before 8 p.m., according to the Public Safety Joint Communications department.

The building is a new addition on the west side of the church and has been under construction since November, associate pastor Julia Will said.

"It’s going to have a prayer room, a youth room, some offices and a bathroom, and probably something like a lobby inside," Will said. 

Eighteen firefighters responded to the scene, Sapp said. Preliminary damage estimates were not available Monday evening.


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