A generator fire that started on Monday morning at the St. John United Methodist Church (UMC) in Avon caused no damage to the church itself, thanks to a quick response from the Avon Volunteer Fire Department.
The generator, which is located on the side of the brick structure, was powered on during a routine weekly maintenance test when it caught on fire, according to Pastor Gina Miller of St. John UMC.
“Our generator cycles every Monday morning as a test. It cycled on, as usual, and something happened that caused it to catch fire,” she said. “We’re very fortunate that it didn’t spread.”
Members of the Avon Volunteer Fire Department responded within minutes and put the fire out, protecting the overall structure.
“The volunteer fire department did an incredible job,” said Pastor Miller. “They got the fire out, kept it contained, and it did not spread. The fire was just contained in the generator, thanks to the Avon Fire Department.”
Because the generator was connected to the electrical system, the power is temporarily out at the church. However, an electrician will be examining the problem in the immediate future, and Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative crew members were on the scene to lend a hand as well.
“Cape Hatteras Electric said they would work with the electrician to get power back to the building,” said Pastor Miller. “They have also been incredibly responsive and helpful.”
The generator was purchased after Hurricane Irene to help provide assistance during storms. “It’s been great during storms, because we can feed people, and cook, and power the church,” said Pastor Miller. “It’s been a good [asset], but just not today.”
“But the church is OK, because of the Avon Fire Department, and that’s wonderful,” she added.
There were no injuries reported during the fire.