Crews battle fire at historic church in downtown Valdosta

Courtesy: VFD
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
December 3, 2018

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Valdosta Fire Department responded to a fire Monday morning at a historic church in the heart of downtown.

Crews received the call at 7:30 a.m. about a fire at First United Methodist Church located at 109 West Valley Street.

The first fire unit arrived on scene at 7:32 a.m. and located a small fire in a room on the second floor of the building. Firefighters were able to quickly get the fire under control and no injuries were reported.

The fire was determined to be accidental and electrical in nature. Damage to the church is estimated at $20,000.

City officials say 20 fire personnel were on hand at the scene. EMS from South Georgia Medical Center also provided firefighter support services.

“The success a lot of the time is early detections, early activation, and early notification. So, someone actually smelling smoke and calling the fire department early allowed us to get there as quickly as we did,” said Brian Boutwell, Assistant Fire Chief. “Of course fire protection was in place, things such as fire walls and fire doors also keep the fire from spreading. All of these things together contribute to success and were able to save quite a bit of property.”