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

Food stuffs for a local chapter of A Simple Gesture at Fitness Evolution, the communal pick-up point, in Arlington on Jan. 12. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
There’s an easier way to donate to food banks

Grab a green bag, fill it gradually with grocery items — and someone will pick it up from your home.

Lake Stevens man shot by deputies reportedly was suicidal

The fatal shooting is the latest incident where someone apparently wanted police to fire.

Man suspected of robbing Rite Aids

Mill Creek police released a sketch Monday evening of the suspect.

Suspect: Marysville church fire ignited by burning shoelaces

The 21-year-old told police it was an accident, but he’s under investigation for second-degree arson.

Police seek witnesses to Marysville hit-and-run

A Seattle man suffered broken bones in the accident.

Bank robbed near Martha Lake

It happened around 3:15 Tuesday afternoon.

Mayor, others break ground on low-barrier housing in Everett

Somers: The complex is expected to save lives and “really shows the heart of this community.”

Former Everett councilman also sued his employer, the county

Ron Gipson says he suffered racial discrimination related to an investigation into sexual harassment.

Teen charged with murder in shooting over car

A Lynnwood teen has been charged with second-degree murder for… Continue reading

Most Read