Two historic churches caught fire Monday on D Avenue in Douglas. No one was in the churches at the time of the fire.
The Douglas Fire Department’s public information officer, Matt King, said they received the call at 10:51 a.m. after some one reported seeing smoke in St. Stephen’s Church. The fire jumped three buildings before flames started at the neighboring First Presbyterian Church. King said the first church has significant structure damage, while First Presbyterian suffered from smoke damage.
Pastor Peggy Christiansen said she saw the firefighters breaking the stain glass windows of the church as she approached the scene at noon.
When I first got here it was a complete punch in the gut,” she said. “I walked from that way and I saw the breaking into the glass windows. And those stain glass windows are historic and theyre kinda part of the identity of their church.
Members of the First Presbyterian congregation, Sylvia and Manuel Valenzuela, said it was heartbreaking to see the damage and the destruction of the historic building.
Its just sad that the originality of the church and the historical significance of the church has to be rebuild, Manuel Valenzuela said.
Crews were packing up and leaving the scene at 6 p.m. The start of the fire is under investigation. King said the investigation can take a couple days.