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Fire Guts Chestertown Sanctuary

Story by Samantha Young Published 2/27/2012

The Chestertown (Md.) church is ablaze before firefighters arrive on the scene.

Ten area fire companies responded to a two-alarm blaze at Chesapeake Conference’s Chestertown (Md.) church about 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 21. Police smelled smoke and went looking for the source of the fire, said Kevin McDaniel, pastor of the Chestertown church.

Fire gutted the sanctuary and damaged the older portion of the church. A newer section of the church building sustained smoke damage, but can be repaired. “Members have shed a lot of tears,” said McDaniel, “but the good news is that no one was hurt. The building can be replaced, but people can’t.”

There is adequate insurance coverage for rebuilding. Local clergy and a funeral home have shown kindness by offering the use of their facilities for worship services until repairs are completed later this year. The congregation plans to worship with the nearby Rock Hall congregation for the time being, and will move services to the Chestertown fellowship hall following clean up of the smoke damage.

The sanctuary is destroyed by an electrical fire that investigators believe originated in the electric organ.