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Investigators: Rural church destroyed by electrical fire
Forest Grove Fire & Rescue has announced the cause of a hereto unexplained fire that destroyed Hillside Bible Church near Forest Grove Saturday, June 9, appears to have been an "electrical fault" inside the building.
Hillside Bible Church, just east of Gales Creek, caught fire before 6 p.m. Saturday. The building mostly collapsed within minutes of firefighters arriving at the scene, said FGF&R spokesman Matt Johnston.
Fire investigators were dispatched to the scene. Their investigation determined the fire was electrical in origin, starting in a space between the main floor and the basement of the church at 49820 N.W. Clapshaw Hill Road, according to the fire agency.
Hillside Bible Church posted a message on its website Saturday night thanking emergency responders and stating the church's intention to rebuild.
"We are truly blessed that no one was injured or in the building at the time," the message read in part. "Even though our building has gone, our church family is still alive and well and are very excited to see what God has in store for us."
A Sunday service was held as usual on the church grounds despite the destruction of the building.
One firefighter from the Banks Fire District suffered what were characterized as minor burns to his hands while battling the blaze Saturday evening. He was treated at the scene and did not require hospitalization, according to Johnston.
By Mark Miller
Editor, Forest Grove News-Times
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