A CHRONOLOGICAL ACCOUNT OF THE FIRE STORY AND RESTORATION PROGRESS
The New Clock Tower
& Steeple Went Up on 3/5/02!
Get the story with pictures from WREL Here.
" Church Fire Ruled Accidental By The State Police
The Virginia State Police have ruled that the recent fire, at the Lexington Presbyterian Church, was accidental in nature. The state police say the July 18 fire was the result of the heating of wood while workers were scraping paint at the church. Lexington fire officials place the damage figure, from the fire, at roughly 2 and a half million dollars. Meanwhile, the Historic Lexington Foundation will be holding a special workshop, in a few weeks , with the focus on fire prevention in historic buildings. The workshop will be held August 19 at the Rockbridge Regional Library and will feature Dan McDaniel, Colonial Williamsburg's Director of Security, Safety and Transportation, as the main speaker. (WREL)
Lexington Presbyterian Church To Be Restored!
Web Feat Exclusive 7/20/00
H-L-F Offers Its Expertise On Rebuilding Effort "
Service Will Be Held At The Church Annex "
Web Feat Exclusive!: Lexington
Presbyterian Church Destroyed By Fire!
July 18, 2000
The Lexington Presbyterian Church, located on the corner of Nelson & Main Streets, caught fire at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning and was completely destroyed in the blaze which lasted for most of the day. All local fire departments answered the call. At first, billows of thick smoke engulfed the steeple and appeared to be seeping from the eaves on an addition on the church's Nelson Street Side. No smoke or flames could be seen coming from the church's main level. Photos appearing in the first row below were taken at about 10:00 A.M. this morning.
the steeple and
eaves but no sign
of smoke or fire
on the main floor.
The bottom row of photos above represent the scene approximately one hour after the upper row of images were taken. As you can see, the situation got worse within that hour and it is reported that Augusta County firefighters were called in to assist the Rockbridge crews which included those from Buena Vista and Lexington. Authorities were concerned about the possible collapse of the upper portion of the church's steeple and marked off an area within 1/2 block of the scene to prevent onlookers from getting very close. They also tried desperately to prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring structures and apparently succeeded. As the third picture above shows, at one point the lower portion of Main Street was engulfed with smoke.
|By Noon the fire spread to the main floor.
Flames flew out of the windows & steeple.
At 12:30 P.M. the steeple came down on the south side of the church.
To the firefighters' credit,
no one was injured and no other buildings damaged.
click here for WREL's Coverage