Fire and Police Departments Investigating Saturday's Fire at First Baptist Church

Fire Chief Steve Olson said Monday that the weekend fire at the First Baptist Church at Keslinger and Peck was started in the dumpsters at the north side of the building.

and officials are investigating the cause of a Saturday-night fire at the First Baptist Church at Peck and Keslinger Roads.

"We're working with the Police Department right now, and that’s about all we can say," said John Harper, First Baptist Church facilities manager, on Monday morning.

The fire, which took place at around 8:48 p.m. Saturday night, caused only about $5,000 in damages, Fire Chief Steve Olson said, mostly to the dumpsters, the wooden enclosure around them and the exterior of the church building.

Olson said the Fire Department has ruled out lightning as a cause, but the incident remains under investigation.

"It could have been accidental, and it could have been deliberate. We can't rule either one out," he said.

Olson said the fire was put out quickly—probably within 10 minutes of Fire Department arrival. Patch reader Pete Hanson took photos with his cell phone that

"The wood enclosure around (the dumpsters)—that’s what burned," Olson said. "There was a lot of smoke, from plastics that were burning inside the trash containers."

Harper confirmed that the only damage to the church itself was to its exterior. Olson said department personnel were at the scene for some time, making sure there was no fire inside the building. 

"The masonry wall kept the fire from getting into the buildings," Olson said. "It went right up the side of the building and up toward the roof but did not get into the roof."

There are two campuses for the . The fire took place at the west campus at 3435 Keslinger Road.

The initial report was a structure fire, so departments from Geneva, St. Charles, and Elburn responded.

Olson said lightning was ruled out as a cause after consulting with the Kane County storm trackers.

Harper said he was not sure whether church services or other church activities on the schedule would be affected.

"We haven’t gotten that far yet," he said. 

Olson said the department is reviewing photos taken Saturday night and continuing to look for a cause.

"We’re still poking around at it," he said. 


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