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Friday, October 26, 2012

Fire in the Whole: Shiloh Rebounding after Storage Blaze

"We are thankful that it was not as bad as it could have been."

Pastor Kenneth Calvert pauses to remember the feelings that Shiloh Baptist parishioners felt, when a fire burned one of the church's storage buildings.

According to the Kingsport Fire Department, someone apparently lit a fire behind the building along a fence row, that eventually got up through the floowing and ignited materials inside the building. Walls kept the fire inside the dwelling from spreading, but high winds fanned the flames that consumed much of the building contents.

"It was our food shelter," Pastor Calvert says. "We kept a lot of food items inside, and then decorations that we use all year long. We also had tents that we use at our outdoor activities, back-to-school events.. events both inside and outside the church."

Many canned goods that helped feed the community were also lost in the fire.

"Canned items we cook at Thanksgiving and other holidays," says Pastor Calvert. "We also had the Interfaith Hospitality Network, with a lot of toothpaste, sheets and pillows. The sheets we can probably use again with several good washings, but not the pillows. Books and items that needed storage.. that building kept them from the elements."

"It could have been a lot worse."

Pastor Calvert credits the fire department with a quick response.

"They really did a good job of containing the blaze, despite the windy conditions," he says. "Once we go through and do an inventory, we'll have an idea of what needs to be replaced, and we're confident that we'll be able to do that."

"We know that it was all just material things," says Pastor Calvert. "We teach and believe that God gives and receives.. and it's just one of those stepping stones where we clean up, keep going and press forward. Our faith in God never diminishes.. he allows us to reach just a little deeper, to do a lot more."

"We thank the community for their prayers."