Delaware church catches fire for the second time in four weeks

DELAWARE, Ohio (WCMH)–A local church has caught fire for the second time in four weeks.

The pastor of the Delaware Church of God said it could be a total loss after the two fires.

It was back on March 8, almost exactly a month ago, when the Delaware Church of God sustained $400,000 damage from a fire. Then this morning, the pastor’s wife came outside and said she could not believe what she was witnessing.

“I woke up this morning to let our dogs out, it was a little after seven, and I noticed there was smoke coming out of the back of the church,” said Nicki Maurer.

She said this morning’s fire burned the furnace room and Sunday school room. Fire investigators call it suspicious.

Last month’s fire destroyed the pulpit, and the church was still under repair from that. Pastor Dan Maurer said his flock is turning to the Bible for solace.

“I feel like the bible is my anchor and keeps me steady in times like this,” Maurer said.

The pastor is also the chaplain for the Delaware Police Department and said he was not at home when the call came in.

“It is a shock obviously, nothing like this you are ever expecting,” he said. “But also the material things can be replaced. There was no loss of life.”

Investigators tell NBC4 it is too early to know of the cause of Thursday morning’s fire. The one a month ago was ruled an electrical malfunction by the Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office.

NBC4 asked Maurer if he thinks it is just a coincidence that there have been two fires at his church within a month.

“Well, it is obviously concerning to me, at least I will say that,” he said.

These are not the only fires this congregation has suffered through. During the 1980s, a former pastor and his son died in a house fire right next door to the church.

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