BELOIT, Kan. (KSNW) – A fire damaged St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Beloit on Sunday. It happened about 2:30 p.m.
The Beloit Call reports that several agencies responded to the fire. Beloit Fire Chief Aaron LaCoe said that the fire originated on the second-floor library.
The newspaper also says that an eyewitness reported that one of the parishioners had gone into the church for a quick adoration visit and noticed smoke. She called her dad who ran over with a fire extinguisher to start putting out the flames before the fire department arrived.
Two juvenile suspects have been identified. An investigation is being conducted by the Beloit Fire Department, Beloit Police Department and the State Fire Marshal’s office.
The church is closed because of smoke damage. Mass is currently being held in the high school gym.
The damage to the church is being assessed by insurance and a professional cleaning service.
KSN featured the church in a Main Street Kansas report a few years ago.
A message to the St. John the Baptist parishioners was sent out on social media reading:
As you may or may not have heard we had a fire in the church.
It started Sunday afternoon in the east tower area around the little library at the top of the stairs that lead up from the gathering space and didn’t spread fire damage much further than the north wall of that library room and the stairs.
However, smoke damage is still being assessed. As of now we still do not know the source for the fire, nor the extent of the smoke damage. It seems more than likely we will be out of the church at the very least for a few days, possibly longer.
We will let you know more information as it becomes available. As always, pray for our parish and pray in thanksgiving that it was found when it was and relatively contained.”Rev. Jarett Konrade, Pastor