The Church Fire of March 27, 1967

"The whole church was full of smoke ..."

by Irmgard Werner (as recorded by Volker Dobers)

On Easter Monday at eight o'clock in the morning the bell rang.  And then the ringing stopped.  Then it rang again.  There stood Mrs. Kasteinke , a church member, in front of the door and said, "Mrs. Werner, the church is on fire!"

I ran to the church, but you couldn't see very much.  The whole church was full of smoke. We assumed that the smoke probably come from the furnace, because the heating system had not been working right.  Repairs had been made during the previous week, and the thermostat had not been turned off,  thereby causing the smoldering.   The smoke had risen from the furnace room to fill the whole church full of smoke.  It was unimaginable!  When we opened the front door of the church, the smoke was like a wall directly in front of us.

Finally the fire department arrived and positioned their equipment around the church.  But they had to wait until they had an adequate supply of water.  Until then everything in the church stayed as it was.  Then tile was taken down on the roof above, and at that moment the flames erupted.  Just then the firefighters poured on the water, and thus we did not have any major fire damage.

Incidentally, on that day we had lots of  people there who had never been in the church.  They showed repeatedly as spectators.  We actually had wanted to hold worship in the parish house, but it was not easy for us to celebrate worship there, given the situation.  We were nervous that it would come to nothing.

The following Sunday was to be Confirmation Sunday, and yet everything was so exposed and dirty.  However, many people came to help.  For them coming to help was the right thing to do.

At the rededication of the church on Reformation Day the church was filled again.  This time the people wanted to know what the church looked like after the renovation.

The Church Fire Easter 1967
The Church Fire Easter 1967