A cigarette butt tossed into a flower cart that sat outside the front doors of Hope Lutheran Church, Flat Rock, Mich., is suspected of causing a fire that destroyed the church on April 26.
No one was injured in the 7:30 a.m. fire. Fire Chief William Vack of the Flat Rock Fire Department surmised that the cigarette smoldered through the night, with flames eventually igniting the side of the church building and spreading to the roof. Although the church walls are still standing, the entire roof is gone.
Local investigators have ruled the fire accidental.
Hope’s worship services were held Sunday, April 29, at Flat Rock City Hall, and May 6 services are planned for the same location.
Reporter has been unable to reach the Rev. Frank Martin, pastor of Hope Lutheran Church, for comment.
Information for this story is from Michigan Minute, the weekly e-news periodical from the LCMS Michigan District.
Posted May 1, 2012