Bill Meier, a trustee of Faith Lutheran Church, walks through the church's kitchen Tuesday afternoon after a cooking fire. Capital City Fire/Rescue estimated the church sustained $40,000 worth of damage.

Bill Meier, a trustee of Faith Lutheran Church, walks through the church's kitchen Tuesday afternoon after a cooking fire. Capital City Fire/Rescue estimated the church sustained $40,000 worth of damage.

Cooking fire smokes out local church

A Juneau church may have sustained $40,000 worth of damage following a kitchen fire Tuesday afternoon, the fire department says.

Twenty-plus Capital City Fire/Rescue firefighters rushed to Faith Lutheran Church, 2500 Sunset Drive, a little before 1 p.m. after receiving reports of a cooking fire.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, smoke was pouring out of the church’s main doors, but the fire was already out, CCFR Captain Ed Quinto said. One of the church parishioners had taken a pan — full of burning oil — outside and extinguished the flames.

Inside the church, the kitchen’s wooden ceiling was scorched and part of the kitchen wall was charred, Quinto said.

To keep the fire from spreading, people inside the kitchen used three fire extinguishers to douse the flames. The dry chemical from the extinguishers coated the entire kitchen and adjacent rooms, Quinto said.

“It’s going to be a while until they put that building in service with the smoke damage everywhere, the smell of smoke, and the dry chem they got everywhere,” Quinto said in an interview. “It’s in the rug, it’s in the walls.”

CCFR advised the parishioners to not assemble in the building until it is cleaned. That includes the HeadStart program the church hosts for schoolchildren.

The children had already left for the day, and only the three teachers were in the building when the fire started, Quinto said. The teachers had evacuated the building before CCFR’s arrival.

Deacon Dan Kassner said he’s not sure if the church will be able to host its regular Sunday service and Bible study.

“We’re still trying to assess the situation,” he said.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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