A congregation worshipping out of a heritage church on Wilkinson Road hopes to hold service Sunday following a fire Tuesday evening.
— Saanich Fire (@SaanichFire) July 25, 2018
Pastor Jim Shew of the Cornerstone Pentecostal Church said efforts are currently underway to make the main sanctuary church usable after a kitchen fire Tuesday evening.
The church opened in 1913 and the kitchen represents a latter addition, he said.
While it is not officially clear, all signs point towards faulty electrical wiring, he said. As for the kitchen, Shew described it as “destroyed” with no cost estimates available at this stage.
Some 30 members of the congregation were taking part in Bible study when one of the ushers noticed smoke coming out of the kitchen in the rear of the building at around 7:45 p.m.
“We left the building, called 9-1-1 and waited for the fire department to show up,” said Shew.
It all happened very quickly with little commotion, he said.
An attempt to douse the fire with a fire extinguisher failed, leaving it up to the Saanich Fire Department to knock down the fire.
Shew praised the quick response of the crews and their diligence in mopping the site.
Michael Kaye, assistant deputy chief of the Saanich Fire Department, said crews responded very quickly. He also suggested that the fire could have been worse.
Had nobody alerted authorities as quickly as they did, the fire could have spread very quickly and caused significant damage.
“The [wooden] church would gone up pretty well,” he said.