Augusta County fire damages church

Augusta County church on fire
Augusta County church on fire(WHSV)
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 8:37 AM EDT
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STUARTS DRAFT, Va. (WHSV) - Firefighters are responding to a church on fire in Augusta County.

On Friday morning, Pastor David Rash of the Sherando United Methodist Church in Stuarts Draft said the sanctuary is engulfed in flames but damage in other parts of the church is questionable.

He said the roof is severely damaged and if the roof collapses, the Fellowship Hall would be gone.

Rash said numerous firefighters are at the church along the 2000 block of Howardsville Turnpike putting out the blaze.

“It’s just a mess,” said Rash. “Even in the rain.”

Rash said he does not believe anybody was injured in the fire.

“We will continue to worship God and we will continue to worship God through our tears,” Rash said.

Augusta County Fire and Rescue said a lot of destruction was underway when they got there.

“The fire was well-progressed by the time we got on-scene due to the early morning hours and then we did face slight challenges with water supply being in a semi-rural area,” said Assistant Chief Jeff Hurst.

Hurts said the cause of the fire is unknown, and Virginia State Police is investigating.

The fire left the East Wing of the church, which members said is the older part. Some of them went to Sunday School in the East Wing decades ago. They said so many memories were made in the now-damaged walls.

Rash said even amid the tragedy, they plan to congregate on Sunday.

“We’ll continue to worship God through our tears as we plan and plot the future,” Rash said.

Although they’re heartbroken, Rash said seeing the community come together and support them has been moving.

“We’re grateful for all the support that’s already pouring out on Facebook, and others bringing food and the community rallying around us. It’s been really beautiful in its own way,” Rash said.

Several firefighters from around the Valley showed up to put the fire out, and it was an hours-long battle. Linemen were at the scene restoring burned lines.

Augusta County church on fire
Augusta County church on fire(WHSV)

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