Demolition Begins At Bethel Church

Sheldon, Iowa — The demolition of a Sheldon church building that was damaged in a fire more than five-and-a-half years ago has apparently begun.

It was Sunday afternoon, September 25th, 2016 when fire crews were called to Bethel Reformed Church, located at the corner of 7th Street and 6th Avenue in Sheldon, to the report of smoke in the building. The fire was reported by Communidad Cristiana, a Spanish language denomination, that was holding a worship service inside the Bethel Church building that afternoon.

At the time, Bethel Reformed leaders said the fire started on the third floor of the education wing of the building. 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, there was quite a bit of water damage, and smoke filled most of the building.

Church leaders later determined that the building was uninhabitable. In the past few months, the process of demolition of the church building has been in the planning stages, with ID Excavating, the company secured by Bethel for the demolition of the structure, receiving permission from the Sheldon City Council to temporarily block off the one-block section of 7th Street that fronts the building, in order to facilitate the demolition project. The company had indicated that they planned to begin demolition about April 15th.

As of Monday, most of the site has been cordoned off with yellow snow-type fencing and some demolition has been performed on the east side, including the demo of the east entryway and the removal of the large sanctuary windows.

Once the church building has been demolished and the remnants removed from the site, the future will see the construction of multi-family housing on that location.

 

Photos by KIWA Staff

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