The Champaign Fire Department responded to a working fire at 808 E. Bradley Avenue, Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Monday, January 21, 2019, at 3:06 a.m. First-arriving fire crews encountered smoke and flames through the roof of the structure and quickly declared the incident a second-alarm fire, bringing additional Champaign and Urbana Fire Department companies. Crews remained on scene until 9:15 a.m. extinguishing any fire that remained.
Champaign Fire Department investigators were on scene performing interviews and a scene examination both Monday, January 21, and Tuesday, January 22. The scene examination was difficult as the attic above the sanctuary sustained heavy fire damage, causing the roof to collapse minutes after firefighters arrived on scene.
Investigators have determined the fire started in the attic above the sanctuary. Most of the mechanical features, such as the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) of the sanctuary constructed in 2002, were found in the attic, only accessible through a small scuttle access above a projector room. Investigators were unable to determine the exact point of origin of this fire in the attic due to the extensive fire damage and subsequent roof collapse.
Contact: Randy Smith, Deputy Fire Marshal | Phone: (217) 403-7212