North Bend man catches church fire early
December 26, 2012
By Michele Mihalovich
Josh Hudson pulled into his driveway at about 6 p.m. Dec. 14 and noticed flames inside the nearby Cascade Covenant Church in North Bend.
He said at first he thought it was the glow from a fireplace, but he ran across the street to check it out, saw the fire and called 911 right away. The 20-year-old said the fire was growing so fast, he decided to rush home and fill up two buckets of water to try to contain the fire.
Hudson said he tossed a rock through the window and was able to douse the fire.
Eastside Fire & Rescue Captain Mark Ashburn, who was at the scene, said the window was already broken from the fire, and Hudson broke out the reminder of the glass and poured water on the fire.
Firefighters do not want to see anyone going into a structure to put out a fire on their own, but the already broken window allowed the man to pour water on the fire from a safe location, Ashburn said.
Hudson said the fire was just smoldering by the time firefighters got to the church, at 13225 436th Ave. S.E.
Ashburn said an unattended candle burning in a room of the church caused the fire.
“When the fire department did a sweep through the church, the church caretakers weren’t even aware that there were other candles lit in several locations of the church,” he said.
Josie Williams, EFR spokeswoman, said in a Dec. 19 press release that EFR firefighters have responded to several fires involving holiday decorations and Christmas trees.
“Decorating homes and businesses is a long-standing tradition around the holiday season, but unfortunately these decorations may increase your chances of fire,” she said. “With the holiday season in full swing, everyone needs to keep fire safety in mind when decorating and entertaining.”
Hudson said he was just glad the fire didn’t burn the church down, and that the church’s sprinkler system didn’t come on, because the water could have caused a lot more damage.