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Fire damages Saskatchewan church


January 2, 2017
By The Canadian Press

Jan. 2, 2017, Gravelbourg, Sask. -  Parishioners of a church in a small town in Saskatchewan are upset after their place of worship was extensively damaged in a fire.

Rita Csada, president of the St. Paul Lutheran Church council in Gravelbourg, says she got a call from a neighbour just before noon Wednesday.

The neighbour told her smoke was coming out of the church’s windows.

Csada said when she got there, flames were tearing through the building that had been moved to Gravelbourg in 1962 from Mazenod, where it was built in 1925.

She said they may be able to save some church artifacts and religious pieces, but added the biggest concern was finding a place to hold services.

Csada said the building has a lot of smoke, water and fire damage and likely isn’t salvageable, but the church has insurance.

She also said the fire investigator determined the blaze was caused by wiring between two pot lights in the ceiling of the basement.

There were no injuries.

Csada said parishioners were upset.

“A lot of tears. A lot of them came right away in tears and hugs, so it’s a big loss for a lot of people, there were a lot of memories and lots of plans for this church,” Csada said Thursday.

“It’s sad.”

The fire, however, did not burn the altar, Csada said.

“The fire went all around the altar,” she said, adding the large wooden cross hanging on the wall behind it fell and burned.

Gravelbourg is 186 kilometres southwest of Regina.