SALEM, OR (KPTV) - Massive flames tore through a Salem church on Friday causing a lot of damage to one of their buildings.

Heavy smoke and towering flames could be seen from throughout the neighborhood around capitol Baptist church on Friday.

Luckily the fire was late and no one was hurt but on Saturday leaders at Capitol Baptist Church gathered to check out some of the damage.

"It’s another starting over point for us for sure," Pastor John Lipton said. 

Capitol Baptist Church has called northeast Salem home for 69 years. Friday, they lost their original worship space to a fire that thoroughly gutted the building.

Salem Fire arrived shortly after 9:30 p.m. and spent several hours fighting an intense blaze.

"When I opened the door, I saw the smoke in front of my house," a witness said.

Flames could be seen pouring out of the roof in the very center of the building, and on Saturday a gaping hole remains.

Blackened walls, melted blinds and scalded doors give an idea of just how hot it got inside the building.

Inside, a library, church offices’ and classrooms were destroyed while outside, little damage.

The exterior was finished with gunite, or sprayed on concrete likely trapping the heat and giving the fire nowhere to burn, but up.

Fortunately, firefighters were able to stop the blaze from spreading to the newer, main worship hall next door.

Still Pastor Lipton knows there was plenty left inside that will be missed.

“A very fabulous library has been pretty well destroyed, and that’s going to be a big loss, and just the use of the building generally is very disappointing,” Pastor Lipton said.

Right now, there’s no word on what started the fire but according to investigators the damage leads them to believe it may have started inside the building.

Church leaders told FOX 12 the building was insured and that they’re very thankful the main worship hall went undamaged.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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(2) comments


Why didn't God stop this? Could it be because God isn't real? Methinks so. Imaginary friends are for children. This makes me happy.


"...and scalded doors..." Zach, you realize kids read the news and I'm sure you're aware that in the news the words that are chosen to describe an event should be chosen accurately. The word 'scald' has nothing to do with fire. It has lots to do with hot liquid and steam and scalding milk for a recipe. Some may say I'm acting like the grammar police.. deal with it. Use inaccurate language and so will the kids. We need to help make them smarter and the wrong word at the wrong time just makes them sound stupid.

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