Fire guts church in Fultonville

PHOTOGRAPHER:
A fully involved structure fire at the Fonda-Fultonville United Methodist Church in Fultonville. The church was gutted by fire Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy of Joe Olechowski)

FULTONVILLE — The United Methodist Church at 11 Montgomery St. was destroyed Tuesday night as the wooden structure was engulfed in flames amid one of the worst snow storms in recent decades.

Montgomery County Emergency Management Deputy Director Rick Sager said volunteer fire crews responded to the fire at approximately 8 p.m.

“It’s totally destroyed. It was a totally wooden structure, with an open air space near the roof. There was no stopping it, with that open air space,” Sager said. “We’re still waiting on the investigation to find a starting spot, but it definitely had a pretty good head start on us, and I think that’s because — with the snowfall — that kind of masked the smoke, and I don’t think anybody really saw it until flames actually broke out.”

Seven volunteer Fire Departments responded to the blaze: Fultonville, Mohawk, Fort Hunter, Tribes Hill, Fort Johnson, Glenn and Rural Grove. The units included six tanker trucks.

Sager said the volunteer firefighters were at the scene of the fire this morning working with an excavator to find “hot spots” within the debris.

He said prior to the fire the church was active and had long been an important part of the community.

“I’m about 63 years old and it’s been there as long as I can remember,” he said.

No injuries were reported from the fire, and none of the nearby properties were damaged.

By Chad Fleck

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