CLINTON — The fire department hadn’t used as much water to fight a fire since an elevator blaze in the 1980s, commissioner Dan Ballenger said about Tuesday’s fire that destroyed the Assembly of God church sanctuary.
Water department supervisor Lloyd Francis reported the information to Ballenger. The department is able to monitor water usage live through its computer system.
Tuesday’s fire call went out at about 8 a.m. Smoke was showing primarily from the center of the church’s sanctuary but also was coming through all of the building’s eave vents.
The fire likely had been active for quite a while before it was noticed, Ballenger said.
Within an hour of emergency personnel arriving, the main sanctuary portion of the building, which housed the sanctuary, offices and Sunday school rooms, was fully engulfed.
Fire departments from Clinton, Kenney, Wapella, Weldon, Maroa, Farmer City, Decatur, Warrensburg, Argenta-Oreana, Lincoln, Hickory Point and Mount Pulaski were on scene. Three aerial trucks, from Clinton, Lincoln and Hickory Point, focused water down onto the fire as firefighters also used a number of other lines to fight the blaze.
Red Cross volunteers were at the scene to provide water and other aid.
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