Cross burns at Bethel AME Church, caused by electrical short

Screenshot 2024-04-09 at 7.52.40 AM

The front of Bethel AME Church before, and after Tuesday morning's fire. — Photo by J. Robert Gough

QUINCY — The white, lighted cross at Bethel AME Church burned early Tuesday morning, apparently due to an electrical short.

At 3:19 a.m. Tuesday, the Quincy Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 905 Oak and found that the exterior lighted cross on front of the upper level of the building was on fire.  They deployed a hose line and extinguished the fire a minute later. 

A second fire truck arrived on scene to assist.  A third fire truck arrived on scene but was released from the scene shortly after arriving. 

The ladder was set up for an on-scene fire investigator and it was determined that there was an electrical short in the lighting to the cross that started the fire.  The power was shut off to the building at the main breaker.  The last fire suppression crew left the scene at 4:13 A.M.

Quincy Policy shut down Oak Street between 9th and 10th streets.  Adams County Ambulance Service was on scene to standby in case they were needed.  No civilians or firefighters were injured at the scene.

Fire damage was limited to the fiberglass cross, which melted.  There was minor smoke damage to the exterior brick on the front of the building.  The building had no interior or structural damage.

There were 10 firefighters on scene from a quint, two fire engines, and the Assistant Chief.

The melted remains of a fiberglass cross outside Bethel AME Church Tuesday morning.

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