ANCHORAGE, AK (December 18, 2015) – Despite a fire that damaged its building early this morning, First Covenant Church will hold services Sunday.
A fire broke out at the church’s back entrance around 4 a.m. this morning. The damage was confined to the front of the sanctuary, said Curtis Ivanoff, superintendent of the Alaska Conference.
“A few small holes had to be cut in the roof at a couple of different points, but overall the structure is sound,” Ivanoff wrote on a Facebook post this afternoon.
According to NBC affiliate KTUU, at least 15 firefighter units, including six engines, fought the blaze. Officials are investigating the cause. Church leaders told ECC President Gary Walter that it most likely began when a person seeking to stay warm under the church overhang lit a fire that subsequently got out of control.
The temperature was around 20 degrees at the time, according to the National Weather Service.
There is no power in the church, and restoring heat and electricity is a high priority, Ivanoff said. A restoration company already is at work cleaning the damage.
“I am reminded in talking with Pastor Max (Lopez-Cepero) – the church is people,” Ivanoff wrote on Facebook. “This is a building and with God’s help and the provision that comes through people of the body of Christ, things will be ok. For now, pray for the leadership to deal with the practical matters of clean up and such.”