November 23, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
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BREAKING: Multiple departments respond to fire at Lorain church

The fire at First Evangecialal Lutheran Church is seen from a nearby high-rise. PHOTO COURTESY OF PHIL LEON

The fire at First Evangelical Lutheran Church is seen from a nearby high-rise. PHOTO COURTESY OF PHIL LEON

LORAIN — Multiple fire departments are on the scene of a fire at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lorain.

First Lutheran Church in Lorain was still smoking at 11:40 a.m., more than five hours after a fire was reported in the building. ANNA MERRIMAN/CHRONICLE

First Lutheran Church in Lorain was still smoking at 11:40 a.m., more than five hours after a fire was reported in the building. ANNA MERRIMAN/CHRONICLE

The call for the fire at 603 Washington Ave. was called in at 6:25 a.m., according to the fire department. Crews from Lorain, Sheffield Township, Elyria and Amherst fire departments are on the scene.

Admiral Ernest J. King Elementary School, 720 Washington Ave., is closed today because of the fire.

According to chief photographer Bruce Bishop, who is at the scene, crews are only battling the fire from the outside, and have not been able to enter the building.

The church has been at the corner of Washington Avenue and Sixth Street since the early 1900s. According to congregation members gathered at the scene, there are about 700 members of church, and about 200 people attend services each Sunday.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown attended the church for a decade, according to his wife, Connie Schultz.

The church is home to several community outreach programs, including a food pantry, temporary housing for the homeless and a summer lunch program.

The church also housed a historic pipe organ, the John Brombaugh’s Opus 4.

Recap our breaking news coverage:


  • Phil Blank

    Check with Bruce & the CT’s email, I just sent a shot from 90 feet up out my window. Videos are too big to send.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pat.holbrook.90 Pat Holbrook

    heart breaking, so sad

  • Peter Aldrich

    Very sad. Praying for the Congregation.

  • HankKwah

    So sorry to hear.

  • Otter

    How awful, sending prayers, for the members of the church, and the firefighters.

  • Phil Blank

    They used to serve meals there, I know at least once a month when the food pantry was open. Maybe too for the children, that I can’t say for sure, its second-hand information.
    For once I didn’t hear the firetrucks or I would have woke up and gotten earlier photos.

    • Dutch Milligan

      Way to go Phil.I’m glad to see you are still on top of things.You do nice work my friend.

    • Tim Francis

      Yeah during the food bank they serve lunch and once a month i think on a satutday