PENDER, Neb. (KCAU) – A church in the Nebraska village of Pender has been damaged in an overnight fire.
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church started on fire in the early morning of Friday. Haley Haymart, the Church Council co-president, told KCAU 9 that the fire started Friday around 1:30 a.m. She added that the fire was contained around 4:30 a.m. No one was injured.
Haymart also said that while they are waiting on the final report from the state fire marshall, they believe the cause was electrical. The fire started in the altar room before spreading to the education center.
The fire caused extensive damage to the education wing and the altar room. The sanctuary remains intact but did receive smoke damage, Haymart said.
The fire marshall estimated that the sanctuary would be unusable until September. As for the rest of the damage, there is no timeline, but they believe it could be a year.
Due to the damages, St. Peter’s Church in town has offered the St. Mark’s congregation to join them in worship for the foreseeable future. Haymart said that the two churches were already planning to jointly share a pastor later in the year.
In a post on Facebook, the church said they are grateful to the first responders who came to battle the flames.
St. Mark’s said they are awaiting a report from the state fire marshall on the investigation of the fire.