Claremore Daily Progress

July 24, 2013

Cause of church fire ruled undetermined

Claremore school officials assess damage to former adminstration building

Mark Friedel
Staff Writer

CLAREMORE —

The cause of a fire that destroyed Christ Presbyterian Church at 5th and Weenonah Avenue late Saturday has been ruled undetermined, said Claremore Fire Chief Jason Crandall. 
Crandall said there are too many factors involved to determine one cause. The three possibilities that could not be disproved included interior electric back feed, lightning and torchwork on a recently installed metal roof.  
Crandall, along with Claremore Public Schools Superintendent Mike McClaren and Director of Operations Paul Fowler, assessed fire damage to the former Claremore Administration Building Tuesday afternoon. The attached building suffered some smoke and water damage, said Crandall.
The building has been unoccupied since Claremore Public Schools administration moved out last summer and into the former Central Upper Elementary location.
Fowler said the site is still owned by the Claremore School District and will be up for sale after restoration of the inside is complete.
“We’ve had to pull up the carpeted areas because of standing water and smoke damage,” he said. “There doesn’t seem to be much structural damage, but we are still having it looked at just in case.”
Anderson Electric of Claremore is currently inspecting connections throughout the site to determine if electricity is available for restoration purposes. Fowler said once that is complete then the air can be turned back on, making it more suitable for working conditions.