An investigation by fire officials is underway to determine cause of the fire that destroyed Lebanon’s 147-year-old First Baptist Church on Wed night. The blaze that was toned shortly before 11:30 pm keep firefighters from both NH and Vermont working on the flaming building until it was under control just after 3:15 am. Firefighters fought the flames from the exterior after they were forced out of the building due to high heat in the stairway. One firefighter suffered a dislocated shoulder and was treated and released from Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Two families were evacuated but returned to their homes around 4:00 am.
The section of School Street from So Park St. to Kimball St remains closed in addition to Green Street from School St. to Elm St. until a structural engineer can assess the integrity of the steeple. The historic church replaced was built in 1869, replacing a smaller chapel and contained a pulpit and three Gothic Revival style chairs by a crafted by then deacon C.V. Cobb Fire Chief Chris Christopoulos is confident historical materials not damaged by the fire will be salvageable.
A GoFund me account has been set up by the Guaraldi Agency you can donate by going to GoFundme.com and enter Lebanon NH.