Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon Fire Company was called to a Sheldon church on Sunday afternoon.
Preliminary information indicates the fire call was to the report of smoke in the building at Bethel Reformed Church, and went out about 3:26 p.m.
On the scene were the Sheldon Fire Company, Sheldon Community Ambulance Team, and the Sheldon Emergency Management Agency. The Sanborn Fire Department was also paged for manpower.
On-scene reports indicate there was smoke, and flames were also visible for a time.
Bethel Reformed leaders say the fire started on the third floor of the education wing. They say it seems to have originated in the wiring of one of the light fixtures. In addition to the damage from the fire, which they say was quickly contained by firefighters, they say there is quite a bit of water damage, and smoke filled most of the building. Church leaders say they are grateful to God that no one was hurt.
According to the leaders, they are also “grateful to our brothers and sisters from Communidad Cristiana. They were worshiping this afternoon in our fellowship hall when they noticed the smoke. They quickly called the fire department thus preventing what could have been far more extensive damage.” Bethel leaders go on to say that Communidad Cristiana’s worship time was interrupted, but those who were worshiping at the time are all safe. According to Bethel leaders, the Youth House was opened to them so they could finish their time together. They say, “they are praying with us as we deal with this unforeseen development.”
Bethel leaders say they will be meeting with insurance adjusters and cleanup specialists soon to get a clearer picture of what they are dealing with and say that at this point it is unlikely that they will have their Wednesday night programming at the church. They advise church members and others to stay up-to-date on the situation and ask for everyone’s prayers. They also say that the church office and the church will be closed on Monday and that Anna will be doing her best to take care of communication and office duties from home.