Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Central Presbyterian Church Burns In Chambersburg

On October 27, 1938 in the morning hours firemen were sent to street box 25, the Central Presbyterian Church, on the square in Chambersburg for a fire. A blaze that started in the ceiling in the area of the chimney caused heavy damage to the interior and rood of the church. Most of the roof was burnt off the church but firemen were able to protect the 186-foot steeple and the bulk of the church itself although falling debris and water damaged much of the interior. First in firemen made their way into the auditorium where they found fire in the ceiling but flames quickly broke out in other parts of the ceiling forcing them to retreat. Less than 30 minutes after the Chambersburg companies arrived 10 streams of water were being played on the church and steeple. About 45 minutes into the incident help was summoned from Greencastle and shortly after Shippensburg was requested. At times the strong southern winds fanned the blaze over the National Bank building but it was spared damage. Firemen raced to the tops of nearby buildings to direct streams onto the steeple. Firemen began leaving the scene about 1 p.m. but two streams continued to play on the steeple until after 2 p.m., by 3 p.m. all fire companies had left the scene except for the Juniors who remained on the scene until 7 p.m., four of the company members kept a vigil all night to insure no flare ups occurred.

It took firemen over three hours to control the blaze. Damages were estimated at more than $50,000. The Friendship's, Juniors, Good Will, Cumberland Valley and Franklin's all of Chambersburg along with the Greencastle and the Cumberland Valley Hose of Shippensburg battled the blaze the blaze.

I have 5 or 6 real photos from this fire but I was not able to figure out which folder I have them in so when I find them I will post them and link back to this incident.

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