Early on March 29, 2016 Tim Devine received a phone call that the church building was on fire. Coming to the building, we discovered smoke still pouring from the building. Later investigation showed that the fire most likely started in the furnace. But because the furnace was running and in a pressurized system, it pumped smoke throughout the building, including electrical conduits and fixtures, and behind walls. In addition to the furnace room and Sanctuary floor, there were several “hot spots” with fire and flame damage.
We were out of the building, worshipping at Ballard First Lutheran Church until September 11, 2016 when we returned to Foster Hall for worship. Building work continued, and on January 8, 2017 we returned to the Sanctuary for worship. What a wonderful homecoming! There was still some more building work to do, and it continued until March 2017, when the last of the projects were finished.
January 2018 Update
Tim Devine’s booklet “Re-Formed by Fire” – The stories of eight United Church of Christ congregations with the shared experience of a building fire.
January 2017 update
October 24, 2016 update
Link to September 12, 2016 pictures
September 11, 2016: back in St. Paul’s for worship!
Link to July 28 update & pictures
Link to June 26 update (PDF)
Link to May 19 building-in-recovery pictures
Link to March 29 post-fire pictures
May 19: Asbestos abatement in the education wing completed this morning. Meeting and walk-through today with Belfor (our project manager) and insurance adjuster. Communicated the church council-approved items list to Belfor. Belfor and insurance adjuster negotiating scope of work and insurance coverage.
April 22: Meeting and walk-through with Belfor to look at scope of work covered by insurance, and possible change orders to enhance security and functionality.
April 21: St. Paul’s security brainstorming meeting.
April 12: Initial walk-through with insurance adjuster. Scope of work process begins.
April 11: Investigation closed. Fire started at furnace. Nothing more definite than that.
April 1: Investigation begins
March 30: Emergency asbestos abatement begins
March 30: Belfor Restoration on site to help
March 29, 2016: Fire is out