Fire Destroys Kalamazoo Church
A local church is facing an uncertain future following a fire Wednesday.
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety officers were dispatched to the report of a fire in the 400 block of Phelps Avenue at around 1:30 p.m. The plume of smoke from the fire could be seen across the Kalamazoo Valley. Officers arrived and advised that there was heavy smoke and flames showing from the church building. Within minutes, the roof of the building collapsed, as well as some of the cinder block walls.
A total of 25 public safety officers with 4 different fire apparatus battled the fire for approximately 4 hours. Heavy equipment also had to be brought in to access hot spots within the remains of the building. Unfortunately, the building and contents are a total loss. A neighboring house also had extensive damage to its siding from the extreme heat of the fire.
The building is home to Open Door Church of God in Christ. Fortunately, the building was empty at the time of fire, and no firefighters were injured during fire ground operations.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Fire Marshal’s Office, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, though does not appear suspicious.
Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to call the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety at 269-488-8911, Silent Observer at 269-343-2100.