On a warm Sunday morning in May, about 50 members of the First English Lutheran Church of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, were gathered in the church basement when a man burst into the basement yelling, “Your church is on fire!”
Members escaped harm, but they stood by helplessly as flames from the steeple spread across the church roof. Firefighters were unable to extinguish the blaze. By evening, the beautiful church, built in 1891, was a total loss.
The cause? Inspectors later attributed the fire to old, faulty electrical wiring in the steeple. It sparked a fire that may have smoldered for days before finally attracting notice.
Fortunately, the members of the First English Lutheran Church were able to rebuild. The steeple of the new building is showcased at night with special lighting. “And believe me,” said Ruth McNeil, vice president of the church council, “that steeple wiring has been checked very carefully.”
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