Fire damages former church in Fall Creek - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Fire damages former church in Fall Creek


Fall Creek (WQOW) - Crews from five area fire departments responded to a fire at a former church in Fall Creek Friday.

The Saint John the Apostle Catholic Church was converted into a home a number of years ago. Friday morning firefighters battled large flames and heavy smoke before extinguishing the fire. They say a caretaker and two dogs were home at the time but made it out safely.

There's no word yet on a cause or damage estimate but the fire chief did say there was extensive interior damage and that the building would need a new roof.

"It's a big open space so there's a lot of fire that can happen in there which there was,” said Robert Dewitz Fall Creek Fire Chief. “That takes a lot of water to put out. We were able to get an attack line in there right away and get a second attack line setup fairly quickly and we were able to knock it down and put it out"

Outdoor temperatures reached close to 80 combined with 91% humidity it made battling the flames tougher.

A church across the street and a young neighbor with his wagon filled with bottled water pitched in to help out fire crews.

"They’re right next to a fire so I’m assuming their pretty hot,” said Sawyer. “Anyway it's a hot day so I decided to give them some water."

One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion and crews kept switching out to keep from over heating.


Fall Creek (WQOW)- As of 12:45 Friday afternoon the fire at a former church in Fall Creek, transformed into a home, is under control. 

The Fall Creek fire chief says the owner was not home when the fire began around 10 o'clock Friday morning, but a caretaker and two dogs were inside. They all made it out safely. One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion. The hot, humid weather made it a challenge to fight the blaze. 

The fire chief says there is heavy smoke and fire damage inside. The home will need a new roof. It's believed the fire started near the front of the building but the cause is still under investigation. 

No word on the cost of the damage. 


-Fire crews continue to fight a fire at 628 South State Street in Fall Creek.

Jackson Schmidtke, our reporter on the scene, says he spoke with the owner of the building's dad. He said the home was the old St. John the Apostle church that's been converted into a home. The owner was not home at the time of the fire, but two dogs were inside. They are doing okay.

Jackson says it looks like most of the fire is out and that crews are still working on one side of the building. He said he could see smoke from Highway 12 when he was driving into town. Giant flames were shooting from the building when he got there. Several fire department are still on the scene.

A handful of firefighters have been checked out by paramedics and are resting.

There's no word on a cause yet.

We'll have more on this story as information becomes available.

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