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Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Historic Riverview Church Fire Ruled Accidental


This story courtesy the Kingsport Times-News

KINGSPORT — A fire that tore through a restroom at Central Baptist Church has been ruled accidental, fire officials said.

Kingsport Fire Marshal Chris Vandagriff said Monday that the church should be able to resume normal activities soon.

“Once they can isolate the electrical systems in the area affected, I don’t see why they wouldn’t be able to resume activities in the other portions of the building,” Vandagriff said.

An alarm system at the church sounded at 3:16 p.m. Sunday, and firefighters immediately responded and doused the fire. No one was injured in the fire, which happened in the basement of the original church that has stood on Carver Street for more than 100 years.

The fire happened underneath the area that was once the old sanctuary but now houses the youth group.

The women’s restroom is now charred, but it did not spread out to the church’s community pantry, just down the hall.

Sonya Clark, head of security for the church, said church officials are still looking at the extent of the damage.

She said officials would be at the church Tuesday to investigate further.

ServPro has started to clean up the affected area. Right now, the entire church is without power. She said there is a Bible study on Wednesday.

“We’re hoping to have the power back on by Wednesday,” she said, and cleanup may still be occurring.

She asked the community to keep the church in its prayers.

“Just the prayers are appreciated that we can get back to our normal operations as soon as possible,” she said.