An arsonist seemed to have big plans for Providence Baptist Church in Charlotte. Some time between 10 p.m. on a Tuesday night in July and 7 a.m. the next morning two fires were intentionally set in the church building– one behind the 1,000 seat sanctuary, one in a downstairs room.
Fortunately both fires self-extinguished, but not before producing a lot of smoke and soot which the church’s ventilation system spread throughout the building. “The sanctuary was gray with smoke,” recalled Senior Pastor Al Cadenhead.
Church leaders were concerned that the sanctuary wouldn’t be available for Sunday services.
Disaster One arrived on the scene that morning and immediately began attacking the smoke and odor damage as soon as the building was released by local and federal investigators. The first priority was to ensure the congregation could worship in their sanctuary in three days. Workers arrived early and stayed late, toiling in hot, humid July conditions.
The crew brought in thermal foggers and Hydroxyl odor processors to neutralize odors and decontaminate the air and surfaces. By the end of Friday all pews had been polished by hand and all walls, upholstery, padded pew seats and carpets had been cleaned.
The acts of service weren’t all one-way from Disaster One to Providence Baptist. “Members made us lunch and brought us homemade cookies,” Disaster One’s Marty Endre noted, adding those gestures made it even easier to meet the goal.
But late Friday it was becoming evident – because of the magnitude of smoke damage – that additional cleaning would be necessary. The church leaders were increasingly nervous about Sunday. Neighboring churches rallied around the congregation, offering the use of their facilities if needed.
Meanwhile, Disaster One continued its work around the clock, assuring the church that all would be taken care of before Sunday. Crews cleaned the sanctuary a second time, and then a third time, before the odor was completely gone.
Finally on Saturday afternoon cleaning was completed and the sanctuary was ready. The next morning worship services went on as scheduled, a testament to the resolve of the congregation and the perseverance of Disaster One.
“Members actually came up and hugged me after the services,” Endre said. “They were saying, ‘thank you for treating our church as though it were yours.’”
If you ever experience fire damage, you’re liable to find that more damage can be done by smoke and the water used to put out the fire than by the fire itself. No matter how it happens, the certified professionals at Disaster One can bring your structure back to the way it was before the disaster. Call us any time at 800-277-4787.