TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Firefighters tackle burning church in McKeesport

Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, 1:51 p.m.
 

No injuries were reported in a noontime fire on Thursday that extensively damaged the sanctuary of a small church in McKeesport's Fawcett Plan section.

“The greatest thing is to give God praise because no one was injured,” said the Rev. Priscilla Dixon, pastor of God's Re-Creation Christian Center at 1028 Fawcett Ave.

“There is a lot of damage,” fire Chief Kevin Lust said outside the church built for another congregation nearly 60 years ago. “The windows had to be taken out for ventilation.”

Dixon said no one had been in the church since Sunday services.

“It was devastating,” Dixon said.

“Police came and answered a possible burglar alarm,” Lust said. “They said the building was secure but it looked like smoke was inside. They felt the windows and they were hot.”

The fire chief said it was extinguished in 15 to 20 minutes.

“If it hadn't been for the alarm system, it might have been worse,” Dixon said.

Allegheny County fire marshals are investigating but Lust said he did not believe the fire was suspicious.

“We won't know until they do their investigation,” Dixon said.

Dixon's congregation of more than 200 members recently paid off a $50,000 mortgage on the building. It was built in the 1950s to house the First Church of Christ Scientist, then sold to God's Re-Creation Christian Center in 2011.

“God brought us here,” Dixon said. “That same God, that same Jesus ... will open up the way.”

McKeesport firefighters were assisted by Glassport's rapid intervention team, White Oak volunteers and a unit from the Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory in West Mifflin.

“We are a people of strong faith,” Dixon said. “We're overcomers. We've overcome a lot. We will overcome this, too.”

A fire department chaplain from Elizabeth Township responded as well, along with a service unit from The Salvation Army.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read McKeesport

  1. East Allegheny teachers gather on picket lines, hope to end contract dispute
  2. Homestead to celebrate one of its own at jazz festival
  3. Flexible-use building in the works for Duquesne
  4. McKeesport Area teacher fired amid sex scandal returns to school
  5. Elizabeth officials combat juvenile problems
  6. McKeesport Area, South Allegheny districts upgrade school security
  7. East Allegheny teachers to hit the picket lines
  8. Students’ use of iPads a minefield
  9. 2nd area Speedway store nears completion
  10. McKeesport Rib Festival wraps up with Monday concert, fireworks show
  11. 2 held for arraignments in Munhall gun case
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.