The following article is reprinted with permission from the Pioneer News
Officials Looking Into Cause of Fire at Dennie Memorial UMC
By Alex Wimsatt
Monday, June 18, 2012 at 9:56 am
LEBANON JUNCTION - A Lebanon Junction church was gutted by fire early Wednesday morning.
Lebanon Junction, Shepherdsville, Southeast Bullitt, Boston, Central Hardin and Valley Creek Fire units were dispatched to the Dennie Memorial United Methodist Church on the corner of Brook and Main Streets around 12:30 a.m.
Lebanon Junction Fire Chief Mark Shumaker, who was the first to respond, said he saw flames rip through the roof on the back of the structure when he arrived on the scene.
“It was like a blow torch,” Shumaker said. “Heavy, heavy fire.”
Though fire fighters tried their best to contain the inferno, the fire spread quickly, eventually gutting the church.
Only the church’s brick front and sanctuary remained intact when the fire was called controlled around 3:30 a.m.
Shumaker said the church’s office space, classrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and fellowship hall were a total loss while the sanctuary sustained only smoke and water damage.
The chief couldn’t say exactly when the fire started, but he speculated it was sometime between 12:15 and 12:30 a.m.
Shumaker wouldn’t comment on the cause of the fire as it’s currently under investigation by the Lebanon Junction Fire Department, the state fire marshal’s office and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Shumaker added that investigators are working diligently to find the cause of the fire so the church can move on.
While four firefighters sustained minor injuries battling the blaze, no one else was hurt.
On behalf of LJFD, Chief Shumaker wished to thank all who assisted with the fire and he extended his sympathy to the congregation of Dennie Memorial United Methodist Church.
Other Information (provided by Lea Ann Young Johnson)
On Wednesday, June 13, Dennie Memorial held their Wednesday evening service. It was the biggest attendance ever at a Wednesday evening service. The sign on the front of the church says "The family that prays together stays together. Pray hard!" Someone drove by and said that the sign seemed rather appropriate.
(left) Rev. Calvin Johnson leads Wednesday evening service.
The praying hands were on the altar. They are ceramic and there is not one chip anywhere! They are perfect except for the soot that will wash off.