Firefighters save historic Brudenell church

BRUDENELL – Father Michael Goring was sitting down for Christmas dinner with his family in Pembroke when he got the call – Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Brudenell was on fire.

The parish priest, who is relatively new to the area having taken over for Father Grant Neville in the fall of 2014, cut his dinner quick and made his way to the scene.

When he arrived, the fire was mostly extinguished and under the careful watch of Brudenell-Lyndoch-Raglan (BLR) firefighters.

The 156-year-old church had been saved.

“I consider this a miracle,” Father Goring said.

BLR Fire Chief Chris Voldock said a passerby had spotted the fire on December 25 and called 911 immediately. The call came in around 4:42 on December 25. When crews arrived on scene, the entire steeple was engulfed in flames.

“It was a ball of red,” Voldock said.

Several neighbours reported that the blaze lit up the small hamlet of Brudenell, and many could see the fire from their homes.

Fire crews attempted to get the flames out, but the water only reached the base of the steeple, which towers 80-plus feet from the base of the church. The fire continued to bellow towards the cross, which has been lit up by blue lights for the past 20 years.

“It was difficult to get to,” Voldock confirmed.

Get your January 7, 2015 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.