Cigarette blamed for Terrace church fire

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Pastor Franklin Paine does not know where his congregation will worship this Sunday.

Mount Zion Lutheran Church was heavily damaged by fire and smoke early Wednesday morning. “Right now, we’re just cleaning up,” Paine said.

The future is uncertain for the congregation, which has about 30 regulars at its Sunday service.

Paine has been with the parish since 1984, and is one of two pastors there.

The fire was reported at around 3:30 a.m.

About 30 firefighters responded from Fire District 1 and the Lynnwood Fire Department. When they arrived on the scene, flames were shooting out of the roof of the building. Firefighters extinguished the blaze by about 4:30 a.m.

The fire tore through the attic over the church’s rectory. Charred ceiling and roof material littered the rectory’s offices, common room and kitchen.

The roof had partially collapsed. Its burnt beams sagged into the rooms below. The sanctuary had some smoke and water damage inside.

The fire caused an estimated $300,000 worth of damage, said Fire District 1 Battalion Chief Jerry Sheehan.

Investigators believe the fire started from a cigarette discarded in a plastic container behind the building.

Firefighters initially suspected a glass bottle was a fire bomb.

“It turned out to be just a Snapple bottle,” he said.

No one was inside when the fire started.

As a precaution, Sheehan said, one firefighter was taken to the hospital after some ceiling material fell on him.

Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; anile@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Mayor tries new tactic to curb fire department overtime

Stephanson says an engine won’t go into service when the only available staff would be on overtime.

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Paine Field fire chief will be allowed to retire

In his letter, the airport director noted Jeff Bohnet was leaving while under investigation.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

Lynnwood man allegedly cuts Marysville’s 911 dispatch wires

The man reportedly told police he intended to trade the wires for drugs.

Ian Terry / The Herald Westbound cars merge from Highway 204 and 20th Street Southeast onto the trestle during the morning commute on Thursday, March 30 in Lake Stevens. Photo taken on 03302017
Pay a toll on US 2 trestle? 10,000 say no on social media

A GOP lawmaker’s chart shows theoretical toll rates of up to $6.30 to cross the trestle one way.

Most Read