Dacula Church Heavily Damaged by Fire
Cause of fire remains under investigation.
A Dacula church sustained extensive interior damage this morning due to fire.
Firefighters responded to Saint Mary’s Romanian Christian Orthodox Church, 2875 Winder Highway, after a passerby reported seeing smoke coming from the building just before 8:30 a.m.
Upon arrival, crews found heavy smoke showing at the side of the building and an active fire inside the floor and walls of the sanctuary and pulpit area. The fire had also extended to a portion of the attic according to Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services public information officer Capt. Tommy Rutledge.
Though the fire was under control by 9:20 a.m., crews remained at the scene to investigate the cause and complete overhaul and salvage operations, which included protecting the remaining undamaged contents of the church. The fire caused extensive damage to the sanctuary and pulpit area. The rest of the church sustained water and smoke damage.
Rutledge said the cause of the fire is undetermined and under investigation. Rutledge added the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) would be responding to assist.
“That is standard on any church fire,” Rutledge explained. Investigators with Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services will retain lead authority on the case, Rutledge added.
Initial indications are that the blaze started in the sanctuary at the pulpit area. Fire investigators are attempting to determine whether a number of electrical components in the area where the fire started could have ignited the blaze. No foul play is suspected at this point according to investigators.
“Firefighters did a really tremendous job of getting in here quickly and stopping the spread of this fire,” Rutledge said. “We’re very fortunate that we were able to save the building.”