Union County church copes with second fire

| February 6, 2012

RAYMOND, Ohio – The members of the New Horizon Baptist Church are sorely being tested.

First, someone drove a stolen BMW through the doors of their Union County church and then torched the place with gasoline. All was lost.

And now, a barn holding a donated trailer full of expensive sound equipment that another church had loaned them after that devastating Jan. 10 fire has been destroyed, lost overnight to what authorities now say was an accidental electrical fire.

At first, when the pole-barn on the property of church member Dan Kibbey’s house caught fire just after 3:30 a.m. today, suspicions of another arson mounted. Kibbey and his pastor, Roger Williams, both thought the same thing: Another fire, especially in an unattended building in the middle of the night, would be an awfully big coincidence.

“We are praying it was accidental,” Williams said. “If it was arson, there would be a lot of people very, very worried.”

Just before noon, investigators from the state fire marshal’s office answered Williams’ prayers. The fire was accidental. Kibbey said it appears that heat tape covering wires and pipe in a corner of the shop he was renovating for a new bathroom failed.



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