Faulty wiring blamed for 1-alarm fire at church St. Philip's Episcopal has about $10,000 in damage

December 30, 1997|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

Faulty wiring caused a one-alarm fire that wrecked part of the altar and left a smoky pall in the sanctuary of a church on the outskirts of Annapolis late Sunday, county fire officials said yesterday.

An off-duty county police officer spotted smoke coming out of the two-story, brick St. Philip's Episcopal Church in the 700 block of Bestgate Road about 11: 30 p.m., said Chief John M. Scholz, a county EMS/fire/rescue spokesman. Five fire engines, three trucks and a paramedic unit were sent to the scene.

The fire, which was brought under control in less than 20 minutes, caused an estimated $10,000 in damage, Scholz said.

"It was ruled accidental because of some electrical wiring underneath the stage area," he explained.

Church officials say Sunday services will continue in the undercroft of the building while repairs are made, and a youth dance scheduled Saturday will go on as scheduled.

"I have to thank the off-duty policeman who notified the fire department," said Joseph Belger, senior warden of the church vestry.

Pub Date: 12/30/97

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