Blaze destroys Arlington church

January 23, 2002|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

A church that was home to several congregations in the Arlington section of Northwest Baltimore during its nearly 105-year history was destroyed last night in a four-alarm blaze.

No injuries were reported in the fire at St. Timothy's Christian Baptist Church in the 4000 block of Groveland Ave. The blaze threatened an adjacent education facility that was under construction. The fire was reported at 5:29 p.m. and brought under control at 6:45 p.m.

The Rev. Carl R. Washington Sr., spiritual leader of St. Timothy's, said he left the church about 2 p.m. and that it was empty when he departed.

He said the two-story stone building contained two auditoriums, offices, a choir loft and classrooms, and boasted a landmark steeple.

Battalion Chief Michael McCauley said that when the first of more than 25 pieces of equipment manned by 100 firefighters arrived, the steeple was fully in flames. It eventually collapsed, along with much of the roof.

Walter W. Brown Sr., 75, turned away in tears. "It's hard to stand here and watch it being destroyed," Brown said of his church of 20 years.

The cause was being investigated, McCauley said.

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