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Fire trucks respond to a blaze at Bethany Presbyterian Church/Photo by Tommy John

UPDATE: Bethany Presbyterian Church fire caused by electrical problem, building can be restored

UPDATE: Bethany Presbyterian Church fire caused by electrical problem, building can be restored

By Matthew Kincanon

UPDATE 3:04 p.m., Jan 3:

A fire that caused extensive damage to Bethany Presbyterian Church, 2607 S. Ray St. Sunday evening was caused by an electrical issue.

Rev. Heather Tadlock, the pastor of the church, said the fire started on the chancel in the sanctuary due to a circuit that had overloaded.

Interior damage from the fire at Bethany Presbyterian Church/Photo courtesy Cate Wetherald

“The sanctuary fellowship area is pretty much a total loss and the rest of the building has smoke damage,” she said.

Tadlock said they are most thankful that no one was in the building and no one was injured.

The fire reportedly started at 4 p.m. and was extinguished by Spokane firefighters at around 7 p.m.

Since the fire, Tadlock said they have received an outpouring of support from other congregations, especially Presbyterians, who have offered space.

“We are going to be considering all of these offers and also considering some other options as well to decide where we are going to worship for the time being,” she said.

Despite the damage, Tadlock said the building can be repaired and restored, but the congregation won’t be able to use it for several months.

“God is with us and no matter what our situation is we are still called to love our neighbors, we are still called to be a worshiping community, we are still called to be the people of God,” she said. “And this congregation – the Bethany congregation – is a very resilient group of folks, a very faithful group of folks who are inwardly strong and yet outwardly focused on our neighbors and on our community.”

7 p.m., Jan. 2

Spokane firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire at Bethany Presbyterian Church in south Spokane Sunday night.

Rev. Heather Tadlock said the fire reportedly started in the sanctuary on the stage area. It was reported at 4 p.m. and extinguished by 7 p.m.

The fire has been put out after 40 firefighters were called to the scene, and the church reported on its Facebook page that no one has been injured. The church is located at 2607 S. Ray St.

They will share more information when it becomes available.

“We’ve talked a lot in the last couple of years about how the church isn’t a building,” Tadlock said in a Facebook video.

The congregation is determining where it will continue its hybrid worship moving forward.

This is a developing story.

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