Those 'Fires of Unknown Origin'



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Church fires

I belong to a group that is interested in old pipe organs and maintains a registry of them. The number of instruments lost due to church fires is probably far higher than many suspect. Church buildings are often old with bad wiring and with congregations not in a position to finance major repairs. Then there is the careless use of candles, especially when the congregation has them as part of the service. There there are those who feel inspired by "voices" or whatever to burn churches. Lastly, there are those mentioned in the article that commit arson as a form of hate against certain groups. I recall that in Trenton, NJ, in the 1950s, several churches were burnt including the First Methodist, St. Mary's RC Cathedral, and fire bombs left at two other churches that did not go off. I am not certain the arsonist was ever caught. Owing to the design of churches with large open areas and often much wood, church fires often end in the loss of the building. I have visited hundreds of churches and whenever I saw a sprinkler system installed, I asked why this was done. Almost without except, this was added after the building suffered a fire.

David more than 1 year ago

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