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Two-Alarm Fire Damages Building at Vestal Church

The first firefighters to arrive at the scene gear up to prepare to enter a building at Bridgewater Church on October 21, 2017. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
The first firefighters to arrive at the scene gear up to prepare to enter a building at Bridgewater Church on October 21, 2017. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

A Vestal church’s youth building sustained moderate damage as the result of a fire.

The fire broke out in a structure just east of the main church building. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
The fire broke out in a structure just east of the main church building. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The blaze in the structure at Bridgewater Church at 2101 Owego Road was reported shortly after 11 a.m. Saturday.

The fire was discovered by a woman who was preparing for her grandson’s first birthday party which was to be held in the building.

Firefighters outside the Bridgewater Church youth building. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Firefighters outside the Bridgewater Church youth building. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The woman said clouds of dark black smoke poured out of the structure as she opened a door. She said she called 911 at 11:06 a.m.

Vestal firefighters were assisted by units from Endicott. No injuries were reported.

Jeff Schrecengost, Bridgewater Vestal associate campus pastor, said firefighters remained at the scene until around 1:30 p.m.

Schrecengost said the fire apparently started in or near a gas fireplace in the youth building. The cause was not immediately known.

Schrecengost said the family that was planning to hold the birthday party lost personal items, including baby pictures, because of the fire. The afternoon party was held at the neighboring Ross Corners Christian Academy.

Schrecengost expressed appreciation to those who had offered assistance to the church following the fire.

Water and smoke pour from the north side of the burning building on Owego Road. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Water and smoke pour from the north side of the burning building on Owego Road. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

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