Fire damages historical church
The City of Orange Fire Department responded to the report of a fire at the First Baptist Church on the corner of 5th Street and Green Ave. at 11:11 PM, Monday, March 24. The fire was reported by an alert citizen driving by the structure.
The building is currently being restored by the H.J. Lutcher and Nelda C. Stark Foundation for use as an addition to the Stark Cultural Venues.
The first arriving fire units reported heavy fire from the top of the domed roof. Access to the roof was available from the construction crews scaffolding. Fire crews deployed the ladder truck to extinguish the bulk of the fire before committing personnel on the roof. The fire was contained to the top portion of the dome roof. Fire crews with a hand line extinguished the remaining fire and monitored the area for hot spots.
The City of Orange was assisted by the City of West Orange Fire Department. No injuries were reported, but Acadian Ambulance Service had a crew standby during the fire.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and remains undetermined.