Vestal Church Fire Appears to Be “Accidental”
Investigators believe a fire that tore through Grace Lutheran Church in Vestal was accidental in origin.
The blaze at the Main Street church was reported about 10 p.m. May 18.
Dozens of firefighters battled the fire for several hours. No serious injuries were reported.
Broome County fire investigator Jeff Winchell said the blaze is believed to have originated in the basement area of the church. Winchell declined to discuss a likely cause but he said it appears to have been accidental.
Winchell said fire investigators will return to the scene with insurance company representatives to examine "a few items" in the debris.
Investigators believe the fire may have started about 45 minutes before it was reported.
Vestal firefighters were called back to the scene the next afternoon to check on a report that smoke was seen coming from some cabinets on the second floor. Although debris was still smoldering, the fire did not reignite.