Fire Dept. Teamwork Saves Orginial Church


The damage to a Springfield church torched by flames Sunday night is clear, but the State Fire Marshall is still working to determine what caused the sanctuary to catch fire.
The fire at the Springfield United Methodist Church on School Avenue started shortly before 9:00 p.m. Sunday. Bay County, Panama City, Callaway, and Parker crews responded to help Springfield fight the massive fire. In all, there were as many 12 fire trucks and 30 firefighters helping contain the fire at one time.
"When a magnitude fire of this nature comes true, we have to pull our training out and then communicate properly," Chief Michael Laramore, Springfield Fire Department, said.
The main sanctuary, church offices, and prayer rooms, which were added to the church in the 1980's, were all destroyed, but crews were able to save the original church building.
"They've lost something, but they haven't lost it all. They're able to maintain service and continue with structure they do have that's safe," Laramore said.
"Facebook messages and that kind of stuff, it's made it sink in. The devastation for the people that have been here since the 70's and 80's," Pastor Seven Grogan said.  "The pews, the sound system, the instruments, all of the office equipment, everything is just dust," 
Grogan said he isn't sure how the church will rebuild what has fallen but that he and the church members will move on together.
The church will open its Mission House, which feeds 80 to 90 families a week, on Tuesday from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. It will also hold its Wednesday and Sunday services as usual.
Donations can be made to the church by contacting the District United Methodist Office at (850) 215-1131 or you can find Springfield United Methodist on Facebook. 

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